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French GPs resume strike action

PARIS, France -- French doctors are taking to the streets again to demand more pay.

The Easter weekend march is the third time in as many months that GPs have shut down their local surgeries and demonstrated for better wages.

Medical union CSMF, which represents at least 40 percent of France's general practitioners, said it had called on family doctors to close shop from Friday evening until Tuesday morning, and for several other long weekends in April and May.

It said it had asked members, who want higher call-out and consultancy fees from Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's government, to respond only to genuine emergencies.

The strike action comes in the run-up to presidential elections which begin next month.

France decides 2002 

Most of the union's members took part in the most recent strike earlier this month forcing emergency services to work flat out to deal with extra cases.

On-off industrial action has rocked France's medical sector for months and widespread strikes in January -- which encompassed doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons and ambulance staff -- shocked a country long proud of its health service.

The action comes as Jospin gears for a two-round presidential vote on April 21 and May 5, where he hopes to oust incumbent Jacques Chirac. Legislative elections will follow in June.


• Doctors march for pay rise
March 30, 2002
• French doctors strike over pay
January 23, 2002
• French doctors begin strike action
December 29, 2001



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