The Straits Times
Published on Dec 09, 2012

Large rally protests Spain's health care austerity


MADRID (AP) - Madrid residents and medical workers angered by budget cuts and plans to part-privatise bits of their cherished national health service are protesting by marching through some of the capital city's most famous squares.

More than 5,000 people were rallying in central Puerta del Sol square on Sunday, according to police estimates. Organisers estimate attendance at 75,000, many dressed in clinical white and blue.

Fatima Branas, a spokesman for the organisers, says privatisation plans are short-sighted because they did not take into account that savings could be made without selling off services.

She says "what their plans really mean is a total change of our health care model and a dismantling of the system used."