NHS pharmacists without increases since 1999 united in protest

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Half a hundred pharmacists of the National Health Service (NHS) demonstrated today in front of the Ministry of Health to demand the appreciation of their careers and the revision of the salary scale, recalling that “there are no salary increases since 1999”.

Luís França is a pharmacist at Beatriz Ângelo Hospital, but today he swapped his workstation for the street in front of the Ministry of Health to demand changes that respect these professionals.

To Lusa, the pharmacist told that he has had the same salary for more than 20 years, because “the salary table has not been updated since 1999.

Luís França, who has a six-year degree and a master’s in his curriculum, is still working on contracts and, in view of “the lack of conditions, little consideration, and no prospects,” has now decided to resign.

“In one week, three seniors at Beatriz Ângelo decided to leave,” revealed the protester, who joined today’s protest with a sign saying “21 years, 8 months and 25 days! Doesn’t this time count?”.

Alongside her, Ana Isabel Rodrigues, a pharmacist at Santa Maria Hospital, also wanted to take to the streets to call the minister’s attention to the need to resume negotiations that “allow for the injustices to be corrected.

A pharmacist for 31 years, Ana Rodrigues told Lusa that in that hospital “there is no career progression since 1999, because there are no open competitions. The result: her salary has also remained unchanged for more than two decades.

According to Henrique Reguengo, president of the National Pharmacists Union (SNF) “there are a thousand hospital pharmacists” who do essential work, but “hidden, and for this reason they always seem to be forgotten by the Ministry of Health”.

Henrique Reguengo recalled that a meeting was scheduled with the supervisor that “did not take place and was not rescheduled.

The unionist underlined that he doesn’t want a meeting “to have a cup of coffee”, but to take measures to adjust the number of pharmacists in the SNS to the needs of pharmaceutical activities, to value the profession, to update salaries and to regularize precarious contracts.

In addition, it calls for the recognition and homologation of the specialist titles awarded by the Order of Pharmacists and the definition and regulation of a process that regularizes access to the specialty and pharmaceutical residency by those hired after March 2020.

The president of the union decided to leave a manjerico at the ministry today to give to the minister.

Today is the second day of the strike of pharmacists, with strikes in the districts of Beja, Evora, Faro, Lisbon, Portalegre, Santarém, Setúbal Autonomous Region of the Azores and the Autonomous Region of Madeira, continuing next Thursday in the districts of Bragança, Braga, Porto, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Guarda, Coimbra, Leira and Viseu.

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