September 14, 2005 -- Today Prensa Latina released a brief unsigned item reporting that nurses at Peruvian public hospitals are continuing a national strike, which appears to be mainly over wages. Some of the striking nurses have reportedly set up tents in San Francisco de Lima Church, and at the time of the report, a dozen of these nurses had been on a hunger strike for six days.
The piece notes that the striking nurses want their salaries to match those of nurses in the private sector, "which is covered by insurance." The nurses' union has reportedly "agreed to find a middle point" between their position and that of the Ministry of Health, but the government has not responded to their proposal. Zoila Cortina, the union's secretary general, reportedly said that nurses would "stop work" at four "public health institutions" in Lima and the provinces, and possibly others in the future, until the government "hears their demands." The piece notes that 670 affiliates from the Peruvian Army's Nurses Trade Union have joined the strike. It also reports that two of the hunger strikers "had to be given medical assistance because of their delicate state of health." The piece might have included more detail on the positions of the two sides, and on the current wages and conditions of Peruvian nurses.
The willingness of Peruvian nurses to go on an extended hunger strike shows how vital it is for public health that adequate resources be directed to nursing. The Center commends Prensa Latina for its report. See the Prensa Latina article "Peruvian Nurses Still on Strike."
September 19, 2005 -- Today Monsters and Critics reports that the Peruvian nurses have ended their 38-day strike after a deal to improve pay under a set calendar, and that the nurses have resumed working without a contract. See the article "Peruvian nurses end strike."