France unveils emergency plan to calm health workers unrest

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PARIS (Reuters) – France will take on a third of the debt of its public hospitals and increase its health budget by 1.5 billion euros over three years as President Emmanuel Macron seeks to quell unrest among health workers.

France will take on from 2020 some 10 billion euros of public hospital debt over three years, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said as he presented the emergency measures.

This comes after thousands of health workers took to the street of Paris and other cities last week to protest spending cuts that they say have hurt care in France.

The protests come amid fears that hospital staff could band together with other disgruntled groups such as transport workers planning mass strike action on Dec. 5 over pension reforms.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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