12 May 2003

Striking health professionals in French Polynesia stage protest march

8:01 am on 12 May 2003

A strike by French Polynesia's health professionsals is about to enter its third week as doctors decided to maintain their protest at changes to the social security system, the CPS.

This comes despite talks with the health minister which failed to bring an end to the protest because the doctors again rejected a new reporting procedure, saying it ended patient confidentiality.

The renewed decision to strike followed a recent protest march by an estimated two and a half thousand striking health professionals, which included doctors, nurses and midwives, to the presidential palace in Papeete.

President Gaston Flosse refused to receive the marchers but issued a statement instead.

As medical care is reduced to emergency services only, Mr Flosse says he wants fresh talks with the doctors before he leaves for Paris tonight.