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Madrid health workers stand firm on privatization

Source: El Pais - Mon 28th Jan 2013
Madrid health workers stand firm on privatization

Madrid's health workers have said they will stand firm against the PP regional government's plan to privatize part of the sector, despite an offer to reduce the scope of the reform. Following weeks of strikes and street protests by public health employees, the Madrid health department offered to privatize 1 hospital and up to 8 primary care centers, rather than 6 hospitals and 27 centers.

"It is evident that 1 is better than 6, but it would open the door to privatization. Besides, we haven't received a formal offer yet," said Jesús Frías, a spokesman for the department chiefs at Madrid's public hospitals.

"We doubt whether this offer is for real. If they were justifying the privatizations because of the savings it would bring, then it's obvious that 1 hospital is a pittance. If we take the offer seriously, it means they are looking for a political solution to the conflict, not an economic one," Frías insisted.

Madrid premier Ignacio González said that he was not aware of the offer.

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