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Health unions to escalate protest action

Sept. 18, 2012 1:22 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2012 2:41 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Health unions announced Tuesday that they will escalate protest action as the Palestinian Authority continues to procrastinate in responding to their demands.

The announcement was made after health unions met with PA Health Minister Hani Adbin. A sit-in strike will take place Tuesday from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. and work will be suspended on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., health union head Osama Najjar said.

"We will follow all developments in the public sphere and the logistical level as we are keen to serve Palestinian society. If the PA does not respond to our demands, this will lead to an escalation, and may lead to an open strike," he added.

Health unions are demanding the recruitment of extra staff, transportation costs for eligible applicants, fair standards for transferring staff between different departments and promotions.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced several measures last week to alleviate the economic crisis.

The economic measures will also include cuts on expenses for PA ministries, with the exception of the health, education and social affairs departments.

In early September, Abdin said that the health ministry faces a shortage of many different medicines due to the financial crisis.
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