Thousands of nurses have rallied across France to demonstrate against budget cuts and staff shortages, claiming care is being put at risk.
In Paris, health workers wore scrubs and masks and marched to demand greater government support.
Many carried signs reading ‘‘Patients in danger’‘. The protest follows a spate of suicides by nurses over the summer.
‘‘The hospitals are at breaking point. There have been dozens of suicides among staff in the last year. Today, the government’s solution is to re-balance things through another austerity plan. We no longer have the means to function, so we are fighting for the quality of care and the quality of our working conditions,’‘ said one protesting nurse.
‘‘We’re not on the streets to simply bother people, we’re here to say we can no longer work in these conditions, with fewer nurses, smaller budgets to manage patients appropriately and with dignity,’‘ another nurse said.
French health unions say those nurses who retire are not being replaced. They blame the increasing number of suicides on burn-out and insist a lack of investment and staff means nurses no longer have any time for patients.