Portuguese medical workers protest, demanding actions to stem job loss

LISBON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of employees from Lisbon's North Hospital Complex protested outside Santa Maria hospital in Portugaluese capital Lisbon on Wednesday to call for new professionals to be hired.

Protesters held banners emblazoned with the words "Fight for our health" and "No to the destruction of the national health service."

Around 200 nurses have left Lisbon's North Hospital Complex in the past two years, according to Isabel Barbosa, from the syndicate of Portuguese nurses (SEP), many of which have left the country in search of better working conditions.

Isabel Barbosa told journalists that many professionals work under great pressure and have a great workload.

"Professionals leaving has led to completely chaotic situations in most hospital services. Professionals are completely exhausted, and urge for a solution soon on behalf of the ministry of this board of administration,"she said.

Even though debt-ridden Portugal exited from the 78-billion-euro bailout program with its international lenders of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank on May this year, the government has to stick to the harsh austerity policies which has sparked protests from various industries ever since.