As announced, the 48-hour strike by public health workers continues today, Tuesday. The strike is scheduled to end at 6:00 am Wednesday when all striking workers are expected to return to their duties.

Making line, waiting, hoping, was the order of the day Monday at most medcial centers across the country

According to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) data, 12,101 workers (about 21% of the total) joined the movement, that led to 14,893 canceled appointments, only 50% of patients were treated in general medicine at some of the country’s hospitals.

“The other half of the population that had a scheduled appointment did not receive attention due to the lack of personnel that joined the strike movement called by the trade unions,” said the CCSS in a statement.

The only services with reliable attention were emergencies and internet patients. Due to the strike, most of the scheduled surgeries were canceled. The CCSS reported that only 7 of the 307 outpatient surgeries were performed and only 6 of the 162 elective surgeries.

Why are they striking?

The strike is about privatization. The workers are against any attempt by the government to privatize health services, however, the Government denies any plans to privatize the public health sector.

The unions said in a press release, “the objective of the strike is to respect the agreements signed by the CCSS authorities and workers’ representatives to guarantee labor rights, demand the non-implementation of the Reforma Fiscal and the reduction of budgets that will affect the services of attention to patients and insured.”