Health care workers seized two of Bogota‘s biggest churches on Tuesday in protest against government measures to prevent Colombia’s health care system from collapsing.
Some 300 health care workers seized both the Catedral Primada, the capital’s largest church, and the Iglesia del Voto Nacional.
The government’s declared a “social emergency,” in response to the crisis state of the public health care system in Colombia. Last week, President Uribe called for laws to change the way public hospitals spend money.
Three of the social emergency laws were announced on Tuesday.
William Vanegas, the Secretary General for the Association of National Health Care Workers in Colombia claims that the new “social emergency” laws do not take into account the public hospitals of the country. “We are not in agreement,” Vanegas said to Caracol Radio.
According to Vanegas, the social emergency is “simply to solve a cash flow to the insurance companies … but it doesn’t take into account the related 3.5 trillion peso debt the country’s hospitals have.”
Vanegas went on to warn that the protesting workers will remain in the churches until the national government opens up the negotiating tables to the health care workers.