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Strained French public hospital workers protest cost cuts

Thousands of exasperated nurses, doctors and other public hospital workers are marching through Paris to demand more staff and resources after years of cost cuts.

Thursday’s protest and strike are channeling anger that’s long been bubbling among France’s nearly 1 million public hospital workers. Emergency room staff have held a rolling strike since March.

Decked in white coats, rheumatologists, anesthesiologists, gynecologists and others from around France braved the November chill for the Paris march, waving banners and sharing stories about growing patient wait times, bed shortages and other problems.

French hospital workers, one carrying a placard reading "Anger at public sector hospital", gather for a national demonstration Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Paris. Among the demands being made are more staff , pay rises, in particular for those on low salaries, and providing more beds. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)

Shrinking investment and lack of reform are taking a toll on France’s often-praised health care system. The government is working on a support plan for hospitals, but protesters fear it will be too modest to solve the problem.

Students doctors showing a poster reading "Striking students" march during a national demonstration Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 in Paris. Thousands of exasperated nurses, doctors and other public hospital workers are marching through Paris to demand more staff and resources after years of cost cuts. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)