• France will spend $9 billion (R148 billion) to provide healthcare workers with pay raises, CNN reported.
  • Healthcare workers would be given a monthly pay increase of an average of $209 (€183), the BBC reported.
  • The deal was signed by Prime Minister Jean Castex, Health Minister Olivier Véran, and trade union leaders.
  • Healthcare workers have been protesting for better pay, more hospital funding, and better working conditions.
  • Some unions called the deal a sham and said it doesn't meet their needs, the Independent reported.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

France will spend $9 billion (R148 billion) to provide healthcare workers, especially those on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic with pay raises, CNN reported.

According to the Independent, Prime Minister Jean Castex called it a "historic moment for our health system."

After seven weeks of negotiations, Castex signed a deal with Health Minister Olivier Véran and trade union leaders on Monday.

The BBC reported that the deal would give healthcare workers a monthly pay increase of an average of $209 R3,400).

Around $512 million (R8 billion) is specifically for doctors working in the public field, and most of the financial support package would cover the pay of nurses, care workers, and non-medical staff.

"This is first of all recognition of those who have been on the front line in the fight against this epidemic," Castex said according to the Independent. "It is also a way of catching up for years of delay, for which each and everyone - including perhaps myself - has their share of responsibility."

The Independent reported that some medical unions did not support the deal and said it doesn't give healthcare workers and the healthcare system enough support.

A group of unions called it a "sham deal" and urged people to protest on July 14, the Independent reported.

According to the BBC, French healthcare workers held protests including on Bastille Day on Tuesday demanding better pay, working conditions, and hospital funding.

"These salary increases do not match our demands," Thomas Laurent, a nurse at a Lyon hospital and Inter Urgences union member, told France24.

Around 1,400 healthcare workers attended the Bastille Day celebration on Tuesday as guests of honour with French President Emmanuel Macron and Tedros Adhanom, the director of the World Health Organisation.

Banners that read "Behind the tributes, Macron is suffocating hospitals" and "Savings cost us lives," were flown by activists during the celebration, the Independent reported.

France has recorded over 209,000 coronavirus cases with more than 30,000 deaths as of Tuesday.

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