Expatica news

Angry paediatricians march on Brussels

7 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Hundreds of angry hospital paediatricians converged on Brussels on Friday to protest against low pay and too much work.

The doctors say there is a serious lack of children’s specialists in Belgium’s hospitals.

They say the country needs around 1,000 paediatricians in its hospitals but at present has only 500.

This situation means hospital paediatricians are seriously overworked and are not properly paid for the jobs they do, argue doctors’ unions.

Friday’s protests saw paediatricians converge on the Belgian health ministry to give what they called a “first warning” to Health Minister Rudy Demotte.

They are demanding pay rises and an urgent recruitment drive for hospital paediatricians.

“A large part of our work is either not paid for at all or very badly paid,” said a union spokesperson on Friday.

During Friday’s protests paediatricians working in Belgium’s hospitals were only seeing emergency cases.

Belgium does not have an across the board shortage of paediatricians.

There are a large number of children’s specialists practising in the private sector, where workloads are not as heavy as in state-run hospitals.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news