More than 4,000 GPs in Madrid have launched an ‘indefinite strike’ this week, after their health union said it had become ‘normalised’ for GPs to see ‘more than 50 or 60 patients’ in their working day.
Amyts – the majority union among Madrid doctors – said on Friday that family doctors and paediatricians working across primary care in the city would start an ‘indefinite strike’ on Monday, beginning with a protest rally outside the primary care management headquarters.
A total of 4,240 GPs and 720 primary care paediatricians were due to strike on Monday this week to ‘definitely save primary care’, following an ‘overwhelming’ response in favour of industrial action to a union survey of the professions, it added.
It said it called the strike to ‘solve once and for all the untenable situation of primary care and stop the terrible exodus of doctors’, including local doctor leaders.
The values of continuity of care and prevention are facing ‘extinction’ in the city and doctors are demanding the strike in the face of a ‘precarious’ situation and ‘terrible working conditions’, it added.
The union has demanded that the ministry of health negotiates a plan to address the problems in health centres so that patients do not have to wait more than a week to see their GP.
It also called for an end to ‘bombastic’ announcements of ‘primary care improvement plans’ that ‘make big headlines’ but affect little real change on the ground.
The doctors’ union has also set up a bank account for donations to help colleagues who want to support the strike but have difficulties doing so.
The ministry of health has ‘unilaterally’ implemented a set of ‘minimum services’ to continue while the strike is ongoing, although these were rejected by the union, Amyts added.
It comes as a ballot of junior doctors in England on industrial action is set to open on Monday 9 January 2023 over last year’s pay award, which was a real-terms cut to junior doctor pay.
The executive team of the BMA’s GP Committee for England was also given a mandate to ‘immediately escalate discussions with BMA Council’ on industrial action in response to this year’s ‘derisory’ GP pay announcement back in July.