Protesters in Paris have sprayed red paint over the front of the Health Ministry building to “symbolize those who lost their lives” to Covid-19 and to highlight the poor conditions for healthcare workers.
Many of the demonstrators were part of the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen Action (Attac), a left wing activist group.
Around 30 demonstrators from Attac and Inter-Urgences, an association of paramedical staff, took part in the protest.
The two associations have criticized the French government’s treatment of health workers, including the country's offer of a medal to medical staff. The French state's offer of a bonus for medical workers, awarded using strict criteria, has also been criticized.
“We are here to show our support to the health care staff who have been in first line during the sanitary crisis, but especially to demand they have finally the necessary means to work and to decently take care of us,” Aurélie Trouvé, spokesperson for Attac France, said in a statement.
“Health care staff deserve more than medals and tear gas,” Trouvé added, referring to clashes on 16 June when police officers fired tear gas at healthcare workers protesting in Paris.
The demonstration was the first by health workers since the easing of lockdown in France.
“In the face of this indecency, healthcare staff have decided to show the real face of the government and its ministers by offering them the medal of contempt,” Attac's statement added.