In Turnhout, North Belgium, today (Saturday), about two thousand people demonstrated against the present strike of doctors in the country.
In Turnhout, North Belgium, today (Saturday), about two thousand people demonstrated against the present strike of doctors in the country. Earlier this week in the same town, two doctors were arrested and charged with not giving assistance to a person in danger. The charge came after the death of an eighteen-month old baby - allegedly because no doctor would give the child medical attention.
Talks have been continuing today in Brussels between representatives of the twelve thousand striking doctors and cabinet ministers in an effort to bring the strike to an end. The situation is described as critical. Mr. Theo Lefevre, the Belgian Prime Minister who attended last night's talks said this morning; "Every normal trade union would have last night agreed to call off the strike."
As the strike continues there are reports of epidemics of scarlet fever, chicken pox, measles and mumps breaking out in the East Belgian province of Liege. The skeleton emergency medical services, set up in hospitals by the medical organisations themselves have issued a communique calling on parents to keep their children at home to stave off the danger that the epidemics might spread.
(The strike is being observed by about ninety six per cent of the country's doctors, of whom some five six thousand are staying in neighbouring countries to avoid possible "requisition" by the authorities.)