From El Deber’s website, as reported last night, here is the government’s decision regarding the nationwide health strike over the eight-hour-work-day. After the article, a few cartoons regarding this conflict that current government allowed to escalate:
Morales [current president], speaking on the State channel for about eight minutes, said that the measure [to raise from six to eight hours] was a decision made by the social sectors during the First Plurinational Meeting, last year in Cochabamba. “I feel that there are groups who do not want to apply the law,” said the President in his short speech at Government Palace.
The Executive also convened a National Summit of Health to discuss the working hours, as well as other needs of this sector. “Invite experts and representatives of national health systems and all sectors so that we contribute to a health revolution”, he said.
According to Morales, one of the proposals that could materialize in the Summit is the free offer of the service. “We could have free health [care]. One of the proposal is to start by Tarija,” he said. Without mentioning the place, Morales placed a date for the meeting, to be carried out on July 27 and 28.
For his part, Jhonny Caballero, leader of the sector in the Santa Cruz capital, was dissatisfied with the determination and said they hoped the Elimination of D.S. [Supreme Decree] 1126. “Is not the same suspension than abrogation, that is why we are not satisfied”, said the leader.
El Deber’s website offered more details in todays edition.
As I said initially, here are some cartoons over this long and difficult conflict, showing a very late and slow response from the government:
Two people engaged in the medic strike say:
woman: “instead of giving away so many synthetic grass soccer fields, could give a few polyclinics and hospitals as gifts. Given so many doctors! right?”
man: “…many times the advisors only think with the lower extremities…”
The issue is not the hours a medic should work but the whole health service, inputs, equipment, facilities and so on.
patient 1: “these hospitals have nothing!!… they have no sheets, nor mattresses… now not even medics!.. what do they do with the money they discount from us?.”
patient 2: “… everything disappears!! they should thank we cannot march nor blockade! because we are very “patient” as “insured”!.. and we are the majority..!”
A long conflict which received very little attention from current government, letting violence and chaos escalate, unnecessarily.
The government, hopefully, has gained some timeout, probably hoping to deflate this issue, as the TIPNIS issue grows daily; they cannot afford two national conflicts, their capacity to deal with this type of issues and their popularity is going down more and more.
However, it is important to notice what the leader of the medics in Santa Cruz is correct by saying, it is one thing to revoke than just suspending the eight-hour-work-day supreme decree. I think people have began to understand this government’s semantics… people do not trust and are not misled as easily as before…