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3-day strike begins at Dominican public hospitals

September 30, 2013

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Thousands of doctors and nurses have walked off their jobs in the Dominican Republic in a strike over wages.

The leader of the main union of medical workers says nearly all of the 168 public hospitals in the Caribbean country are taking part in the three-day walkout that began Monday. Union leader Amarilis Herrera says the hospitals will treat only emergency cases.

Herrera blames the strike on a failure by the government to include pay raises in the budget for next year. Some of the largest hospitals in the Dominican Republic are private and remain open.

The public hospitals employ about 50,000 doctors and nurses. Doctors earn about $600 to $1,000 a month and nurses get about $500 a month. They are seeking a 60 percent wage increase.

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