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Doctors across Germany set to take strike action

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Doctors across Germany set to take strike action
09:53 CEST+02:00
Doctors in clinics across the country are preparing to strike on Wednesday after ongoing talks to improve wages and conditions failed.

Medical services throughout Germany are expected to be impacted by the strike. The strike will focus on non-essential services, with emergency staff unaffected. 

The striking doctors will hold a protest in the Römerberg square in the heart of Frankfurt. The union represents 55,000 doctors from 500 clinics across the country. 

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The Marburger Bund, the union responsible for representing doctors, has argued that pay and conditions have not increased parallel to the demands faced by medical staff. 

There are currently 1,942 hospitals in Germany, 13 percent fewer than in 2000. 

After three failed rounds of negotiations, the union said that strike action was unavoidable.

A spokesperson for the union told the Rheinische Post that emergency services would not be affected. 

“Of course we do not want to put anyone in danger. However, numerous elective services – the cancellation of which will not endanger anyone’s health - must be postponed," the spokesperson said.

In addition to better pay, the doctors want caps on the amount of hours that can be worked and at least two weekends per month off work. The doctors have complained that they are often forced to work weekends at short notice while receiving no extra pay. 

The last major strike took place in 2011.  

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Unions have threatened further ‘indefinite’ strikes should the demands not be met after Wednesday’s action. 

“Even if it does come to an indefinite strike, we would of course offer emergency care," a spokesperson said.

 
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