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National Report Portugal, October 2017
The Socialist Party (PS) maintains a government agreement with the parties to it´s left (Bloco de Esquerda and the Portuguese Communist Party).
Despite of a higher economic growth than foreseen, there is still a great concern about the deficit of public account, implying that the concept of “budgetary neutrality” is key in every negotiation which require the agreement with the Finance Ministry.
The wages cuts reversal (imposed by the former government to all public workers) is at it´s final stage. Current government is announcing its intention of starting the process which shall lead to the end of current blocking of career progression. So far, it looks like it will be a rather shy start.
As an example of Union achievements in 2016, we must highlight the progressive replacement of the payment for extra hours work.
As main structural problems must be mentioned:
- Wages progression´s blocking for medical doctors of SNS. (National Health Service),
- Insufficient number of vacancies for specialized training, resulting in the creation of a high
number of undifferentiated medical doctors who fall under the precarious employment net.
Throughout 2017 many meetings were held between Unions and the government with very little outcomes. As a result, several strikes have been enacted for the following weeks.
Union´s demands are, among other:
- Reduction of mandatory extra working hours,
- Reduction on patients per family doctor ratio,
- Reduction of the number of Emergency Room working hours as part of the normal schedule,
- Reversal of payment cuts for medical work during “uncomfortable hours”
Both Unions (FNAM and SIM) maintain convergent action regarding the main aspects in the defence of medical doctor´s interests.
The Medical Doctor´s Bar Association has also been publicly showing support in this process.