PROTESTS by medical interns returned to the streets of Madrid for a second Monday in a row, after negotiations, with the Comunidad de Madrid for better working conditions failed.
After 2,000 resident medical interns joined the Medico Interno Residente (MIR) protests last Monday July 13, protests were held once again on the streets of the capital, in an attempt to get their demands heard.
The first protests were called after their initial attempt to negotiate an improved labour agreement with the Comunidad de Madrid regional government failed. This led to protest leaders calling on all 4,600 resident medical interns in the region to join an indefinite strike.
Protests were held at all the hospitals involved, including the Hospital Clinico, Hospital Universitario La Paz and Hospital Ramon y Cajal, and then they moved the demonstrations to the Ministry of Health headquarters, on Paseo del Prado in Madrid.
The resident medical interns are asking for some recognition and acknowledgment for the role they played during the COVID-19 pandemic, and want there to be changes made to their current working conditions including rent subsidies, paid transport, training payments and to not have their salary depend on doing 24hr shifts.
Following the initial protest, another negotiation meeting was held the following Friday, July 17, with some changes made to the negotiation deal. However a spokesperson for the MIR Strike Committee said the adjustments were ‘slight but insufficient,’ which is why the protesters returned to the streets again yesterday.
According to La Vanguardia, the interns flooded the Ministry wearing white coats, carrying banners and chanting things like: ‘Vocation does not give us food.
‘We won’t work until we come to an agreement.
‘They call it training and it is not, it is exploitation.
‘We aren’t all here, some are on duty, where has our right to strike gone?’ according to La Vanguardia.
The MIR protests have received a lot of support from the general public, with people applauding the protesters as they walked past, and joining in with the chants.