Despite the relentless rain, hundreds of Italian doctors and nurses gathered in central Rome on Tuesday to protest working conditions and express their opposition to recent measures impacting the public health sector.
Organisers were surprised by the overwhelming participation, with up to 80 per cent of healthcare workers in each Italian region taking part.
Protesters are demanding increased government investment in resources to enhance employment contracts, oppose proposed pension cuts and want to make the profession more appealing to younger people amid nationwide shortages.
Italy’s healthcare system, recently ranked among the world’s best, is one of the country’s main assets. However, many of the doctors are concerned about the system’s future.
“We want to regain that social and professional dignity that has been gradually taken away from us,” Pierino di Silverio, secretary-general of Italian doctors and healthcare managers union Anaao-Assomed told Euronews.
“We just simply demand that measures that are part of the 2024 budget bill do take care of us and of a sector that is not being managed as it should.” A second strike has already been planned before the end of the month.
For more watch Euronews’ Giorgia Orlandi report in the video above.