NHS pharmacists go on national strike again – Última Hora

Pharmacists from the National Health Service are returning to strike today, this time nationwide after the district strikes on the 5th and 12th of this month, in an attempt to force a “serious negotiation process” with the authority.


The National Pharmacists Union (SNF) disputes the fact that the Ministry of Health remains silent, without expressing any intention of “initiating a serious negotiation process”. The last strike notice, delivered in July, included national strikes (July 24th and September 19th) and district strikes (September 5th and 12th).

On the 5th of September the strike covered pharmacists in the districts of Beja, Évora, Faro, Lisbon, Portalegre, Santarém and Setúbal and in the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira and on the 12th those of Braga, Bragança, Porto, Viana do Castelo , Vila Real, Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Guarda, Leiria and Viseu.

The protest ends today, with a national strike.

Among the demands of the SNF are the updating of salary scales, the full counting of service time in the SNS for promotion and career progression, the adequacy of the number of pharmacists to the needs of the public service and recognition by the Ministry of Health of the specialist title.

“Contrary to what is happening with other union structures in the health sector, which have been negotiating with the ministry even with protests and strikes scheduled and ongoing, the meeting scheduled with the SNF for June 2nd has been postponed”, lamented the union, when he issued the strike notice, saying that he could only infer that the guardianship had abandoned negotiations.

In addition to the strikes that began on July 24, pharmacists had already stopped for three days in June, to demand progress in negotiations with the Government.

In January, a meeting was held between the two parties that the union considered an “absolute disappointment” and subsequent meetings ended without significant progress.

On the last day of the district strike — on the 12th of this month — around three dozen pharmacists gathered at the entrance to the main center of the Coimbra Hospital and University Center (CHUC).

At that time, the president of the SNF, Henrique Reguengo, highlighted that, six years after the creation of the career, “everything that should have been done was not done”: “Worse than that, the Government does not even begin the promised dialogue with the union”, he added.

Speaking to journalists at the time, he also questioned: “We have insufficient staff, but then we have 80% of people at the base of the career ladder and a salary scale from 1999. If we have a lack of personnel and working conditions like this, what do we call the new generations for the SNS?”.

The president of the SNF also revealed that we are currently seeing the departure of experienced pharmacists from the SNS, “who should be teaching the new generations”, in the three specialties of activity — hospital pharmacy, clinical analysis and human genetics.

Source: SÁBADO by www.sabado.pt.

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