Health professionals from all over France have taken to the streets in the capital, Paris, to protest possible government cuts in the health sector, Press TV reports.
The French government has announced that it will discuss health budgets in the coming days with an eye on reducing part of the funds as part of ongoing austerity measures.
Hospital staff fear the government will force further cuts on their already strained services. They are complaining of worsening work conditions and a drop in the quality of health care.
“The biggest impact is that we are really overwhelmed. We can handle 27 patients at any given time. Some of the cases are so serious that we are always busy,” Charlie Da Cruz, an emergency ward nurse, told Press TV.
“As a result, the less serious cases have to wait, even in the emergency department.”
France has one of the best healthcare services in Europe. However, it has come under a lot of strain in recent years.
According to the National Audit Court, the public health security administration is facing deficits of more than a billion euros.
France will undergo more austerity cuts to save the economy, but health care professionals say this will make things worse in the short term.
“Hospital staff are frustrated. If one of us goes on sick leave, the others will have a tough time,” said Veronique Caillet, a physiotherapist.
Labor unions say they will continue their protest in the coming days if their demands are not met.