Medics protest over provisions in 2024 budget bill.
Doctors in Italy are set to stage a nationwide 24-hour strike on 5 December in protest over measures affecting the public health sector, including pension cuts, in the government's 2024 budget bill.
The strike was called on Tuesday by the two main trade unions representing hospital doctors - Anaao-Assomed and Cimo-Fesmed - which claim the proposed pension cuts of between five and 25 per cent per year would affect around 50,000 medical workers.
The proposed measures "are neither capable of reviving the National Health Service (SSN) from the serious crisis in which it finds itself nor of satisfying the requests of the category we represent", said Anaao-Assomed secretary Pierino Di Silverio and Cimo-Fesmed president Guido Quici in a statement.
The union leaders also say that they would have expected "adequate resources for the renewal of contracts, and instead we discover that the planned €2.3 billion is to made available for the entire healthcare sector", describing it as "crumbs for everyone".
Doctors are set to desert hospital wards and clinics for the entire day on Tuesday 5 December, but will remain on duty in the emergency department, with diagnostic tests and scheduled hospitalisations moved to another date.
Health minister Orazio Schillaci on Monday said the government is "working to find a solution", La Stampa newspaper reports.