Medical staff in Portugal march over spending cuts

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Medical staff in Portugal march over spending cuts

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Doctors and nurses in Portugal demonstrated in the capital, Lisbon, on Wednesday after going on strike over planned cuts to the country’s healthcare budget.

The two-day walkout ends later Thursday.

The government is slashing spending across a number of areas to its obligations under a 78 billion euro rescue deal agreed with the EU and the IMF last year.

Medics are angry about longer hours, higher consultation fees and the increased use of private firms to provide public services.

Unions said 90 percent of their members are taking part in the stoppage.

Ministers claimed that 4,500 operations and 400,000 appointments could be cancelled during the 48-hour industrial action.

Emergency services are unaffected by the strike.