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Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

Nurses denounce threats and harassment in Portuguesa state

Health-care workers denounce continuing harassment by the government due to salary demands. Silvia Torrealba, president of the nurses union in southern Portuguesa state, asked the Ministry of Health for a bonus of $30 per week for each active or retired nurse.

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By Bianile Rivas.

The nurses at several hospitals in the state of Portuguesa can no even complain about their salaries and work situation. When they do so, they are victims of harassment and persecution from their employer, according to the president of this union in Guanare, Silvia Torrealba.

The conflict comes just as the number of new Coronavirus cases in Venezuela, nearly tripling over the last three weeks to 16,571. In mid-March, there were only two known cases. But now, Venezuela is adding 500-plus new cases every day, even with strict quarantine measures.

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Torrealba stressed that the economic and labor situation of the nurses in the state is unsustainable, and it can not be silent any longer.

“We only have a basic salary and some bonuses per our collective contract that increases a little bit our income, but to only 2,000,000 bolivares, a little less than eight dollars per month,” she said.

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The union leader, who is a worker at the Dr. Miguel Oraa University Hospital, joined the clamor of Venezuelan nurses and also asked the Ministry of Health for a $30 per week bonus for each active or retired nurse. “We are demanding that, and we will not be silent even if the threats persist”.

Regarding the $100 health bonus offered by the National Assembly and interim president Juan Guaido, Torrealba said that the bonus does not arrive either.

“It is taken a while because these are resources that come through international organizations. All the nursing unions in the country, including the two in the state of Portuguesa, are participating in the discussions of this bonus, and we are active so that when the time comes, no one is left out,” she explained.

About COVID-19, Silvia Torrealba said that, to date, the virus gets controlled in the state of Portuguesa. The pandemic has not caused the havoc it has reached in Miranda Zulia and Distrito Capital, she said.

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