More than 60 anesthesiologists from 11 public hospitals in Costa Rica have held multiple strikes since Nov. 7. The Social Security System (Caja) had to cancel some 600 surgeries during that period. The anesthesiologists have not worked since Tuesday.
The Costa Rican Anesthesiologists Association is demanding the Caja create better working conditions in operating rooms and give more vacation time.
According to the anesthesiologists, the discussion with Caja officials has been ongoing since 2009. They claim the institution has not kept a number of promises to the physicians.
The Caja began legal action against the strikers on Wednesday, arguing that the movement deprives the population of health services. At press time, Health Minister Daisy Corrales said she would issue an order for mandatory compliance if the anesthesiologists do not call off the strike by Friday.