Strike at the Costa del Sol hospital supported by 70 per cent of staff

Protesters demonstrate outside the hospital.
Protesters demonstrate outside the hospital. / CHARO MÁRQUEZ
  • The Agencia Sanitaria Costa del Sol, which runs the hospital, says it is "sensitive to" the workers' concerns over job insecurity

The SMM (Sindicato Médico de Malaga) union says seventy per cent of staff of the Agencia Sanitaria Costa del Sol who work at the hospital in Marbella took part in strike action on Monday, and in some departments 100 per cent of workers supported the action and consulting rooms and operating theatres had to be closed for the day.

This was the second day of protest called by the union over the lack of a written agreement over contracts and working conditions. Dr José Luis Prada, the SMM representative at the hospital, said the last agreement expired in 2009 and has never been replaced, causing job instability for many of the professionals who have worked at the hospital for years.

The union claims that about half of the staff, including 200 of the 450 doctors, are affected and it accuses the administration of having handled human resources purely to suit its own interests since 2010.

The SMM insists that the strike was aimed to put pressure on the management, not patients, so the oncology, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, haemodynamic and dialysis departments were not affected by the strike, and neither were the emergency department or intensive care unit.

On this occasion, unlike the previous stoppage on 25 November, the Agencia Sanitaria Costa del Sol spoke out in support of the protesters, saying it is "especially concerned about and sensitive to" the situation of the hospital workers, because "all these professionals have undergone a rigorous and demanding selection procedure" and that stabilising job positions is a priority.

However, it quotes different figures for support for this latest strike, saying only 6.76 per cent of the employees joined in.