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Dominican Doctors on Fourth 2008 Strike
Like three times before, the public service doctors, went to work, but abstained from rendering their services, as verified by Prensa Latina in an early visit to several hospitals in this capital.

A source of the capital's hospital Victor Puello that preferred to remain unknown, confirmed that although the doctors assigned to administrative tasks give consultations to fill the gap, as it has happened before.

The strike will last until Friday, and will be followed by other protest demonstrations, said the CMD (Dominican Medical College) board of directors, which announced a march of doctors for Wednesday up to the National Palace.

In March, during the third strike, which lasted 72 hours, a march of doctors tried to reach the Executive's headquarters, but was dispersed by the army and the police with high-pressure water streams and rubber bullets, sources recalled.

This is the fourth time the CMD stops the services this year, due to a serious conflict with the government, from which it is demanding a salary and pension rises and sectorial and labor claims.

A discreet mediation of the Catholic clergy, which has criticized the previous strikes, was not enough to avoid the demonstration of force by the CMD, which complains about insensitivity and refusal to hold talks by the authorities.

The government said to lack funds to satisfy the demands and asserted that the CMD has an animated unscrupulous behavior with electoral objectives, because its president is a member of the opposition PRD (Dominican Revolutionary Party).

Waldo Suero, CMD chair, refuted the accusations and recalled that the demands are related to the promises the government made three years ago that remain unfulfilled.

The doctors' strike is part of a panorama of social sense of unease, marked by a rise in prices of the basic products, unemployment, high taxes and an exorbitant rise in fuel prices.


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