Thousands of health workers in France took to the streets to protest years of cutbacks across the country.
The health workers cried in rallies saying, ‘Save Public Hospitals’.
Protesters say recent spending cuts have harmed care in a country with a health system once the envy of the world.
President Emmanuel Macron promised to respond to demonstrators with “strong decisions” to be announced next week.
Public hospitals in France have been forced to shave 9.0 billion euros off their spending since 2005, leading to the scrapping of hundreds of beds and dozens of operating theatres while stagnant salaries fuelled a flight to the private sector.
The protesters are demanding €3.8 billion in emergency investment in public hospitals — twice as much as set aside in the draft 2020 budget currently before parliament.
In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked France’s health system the best of 191 countries.
But a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, published in The Lancet medical journal in 2017, placed it in 15th place for quality of care.
Protests began in March when emergency room staff, who complain of elderly patients being left for hours on trolleys in corridors while waiting for a bed, began strike action.
Over 260 emergency rooms nationwide are affected by the labour action.