More strikes in Spanish healthcare in 2023

by Lorraine Williamson
healthcare strikes

MADRID – In 2023, healthcare strikes in Spain have doubled from the previous year, with almost 100,000 professionals participating. 

During the first half of 2023, 92,913 people participated in strikes in the healthcare sector. In 2022 there was a total of 96,494. This is evident from the report Statistics on strikes and employer closures from the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy. It also shows an increase of 16 strikes, more than double the previous year during the same period. 

Increase in the number of strikes 

According to the data from this government report, a total of six strikes took place in the healthcare sector across the country in June 2023. Only one strike was recorded in June 2022. Moreover, in June 2023, 342 people took part in the strikes, while in June last year, there were 20. 

Regarding the cumulative number of strikes from January to June, the report notes that a total of 29 strikes took place in the healthcare sector in the first half of 2023, compared to the 13 recorded in the same period of 2022. This indicates a remarkable increase in trade union and strike activity in the health sector in Spain during 2023. 

Why are there more strikes? 

The increase in these figures can be attributed to numerous health mobilisations that have taken place in the different autonomous communities during the first six months of the year. 

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One of the most striking data concerns the number of days not worked due to strikes. While this number increased to 1,959 days in June 2023, the number in 2022 was significantly lower, with 59 days not working. 

This pattern continued through the first half of both years, with a total of 270,827 days not worked in 2023, compared to 15,389 in 2022. A difference of 255,438 days of inactivity between the two years. 

Strikes in the pharmaceutical sector 

The number of strike days is considerably lower in the pharmaceutical sector. Only one strike took place there during the first semester of 2023, with the participation of 325 people. This single strike has caused a total of 1,950 days of inactivity in this sector. 

Unlike the previous year, in the same period of 2022, there was no strike related to the production of pharmaceutical products during the first six months of the year. 

Also read: Alarm about Spanish healthcare: unacceptable waiting lists and too few beds 

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