Health service users and workers protested in 13 Portuguese cities against cuts and new user charges introduced by the right wing government of Pedro Passos Coelho.
Protests started late Friday in the southern Algarve region and rolled out across the country, including the capital Lisbon, throughout Saturday.
Organised by the CGTP trade union central and a campaign group of service users, Movimiento de Usuarios del Servicio Público, the demonstrations were held to show anger at the cuts to oncology services in district hospitals and specialist accident and emergency night time services and reductions in maternity provision.
Demonstrators chanted ‘our health service is unwell’ and ‘the more we keep quiet the more they rob us.’
The Portuguese government is implementing a punishing austerity programme to meet demands of the EU, IMF and European Central Bank.