5 May 2003

Doctors' strike in French Polynesia spreads to the hospitals

10:47 am on 5 May 2003

A week-long doctors' strike in French Polynesia has now spread to all health care professionals in a dispute with the public health insurance scheme, known as CPS.

The stand-off centres on the financial woes of the CPS which has cut doctor payments and reporting procedures because of its deficit.

The indefinite strike was started by private doctors a week ago and later joined by public hospital doctors and others in what is being described as an unprecedented protest.

Health officials now accuse the CPS of putting at risk the territory's health care system which has been reduced to emergency care.

The territorial president, Gaston Flosse, has urged the two sides to resume discussions.