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Doctors at Major Hospital Join Physicians’ Strike

June 17, 1994

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Some 80 percent of Guatemala’s public physicians have joined a strike that began a week ago when the government denied their request for a 40 percent pay hike.

Doctors at one of Guatemala’s largest hospitals serving the poor, San Juan de Dios General Hospital, joined the walkout Thursday. The hospital began turning away emergency cases, increasing pressure on the already overwhelmed Roosevelt Hospital, the capital’s other big medical center.

The director at San Juan de Dios, Dr. Israel Lemus, called the strike ″an unjust movement affecting the most needy members of the population.″

Guatemala’s top prosecutor, Ramses Cueras Gomez, said he was investigating whether the doctors could be prosecuted for denying health care.

In the last week, the strike has grown to include 22 of the nation’s hospitals and numerous smaller health centers.

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