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Monday, July 28 2014 @ 02:27 PM EDT

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Doctor's Strike Claims First Victim

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Jilma Aguilar for El Siglo - The strike by public doctors in Panama claimed its first victim on Wednesday when Martina Vásquez arrived with her mother Eloisa Inestrosa, to request medical attention at the to the "Complejo Metropolitano" (Metropolitan Complex) of the Office of Social Security. However after hours of waiting, the patient who arrived with serious health problems died. The Inestrosa family mourns her irreparable loss today. Martina said that while they were waiting she found a doctor who doubted the pain her mother was feeling at the moment, saying "I don't see anything wrong with her." She answered him "well if you don't see anything wrong, then look at all of these exams they have done to the mother. That was how we got in to be seen," she said. (more)
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Doctors and Government Continue Negotiations

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Rogelio Adonican for La Estrella de Panama - So far there are no signs of a truce in the conflict between public doctors and the government. Yesterday they concluded their fifth meeting without discussing the subject of wages. Negotiations reached a stalemate on point number nine which deals with doctors having to punch in and out on a time clock. René Luciani, director of the Office of Social Security said the negotiations stagnated on this point because the doctors asked to have some issues clarified which were not clear to them. Julio Garcia, coordinator of the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal), upon leaving the meeting, said "we have a better view of the subject, but we think there are some pieces missing in order to have a more concrete proposal to present to the members." The subject of wages has not yet been touched at the negotiation table although they have already been talking for two weeks. Time is becoming the main enemy of the doctors and the best weapon of the government, which is still demanding improvements in health services. The leadership and members of Comenenal are on alert because they feel that efforts to expand the subject of wages is a strategy being used by the government to wear them down. Garcia recognized that the government is intensifying pressure, but the union has gotten stronger "and we will not rise from the table" until we obtain their assignment.
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Body of Man Who Drowned In Lake Recovered

Cars & Transportation By Luis Carlos Rodríguez for La Critica - Francisco Humberto Fernandez, 28 years old and a resident of Santa Marta in San Miguelito, was the man who drowned after the BMW he was driving went into the lake next to the road that leads to the Pedro Miguel locks. On Tuesday afternoon when the accident occurred, the man spent several minutes on the roof of his car asking for help which arrived late, after he had already gone under. His corpse remained in the water for 36 hours, but yesterday morning early it floated to the surface about 15 meters from shore and was pulled from the water by a fireman. Leidy Osorio Batiste, wife of Francisco, arrived at the scene and could not contain her grief.
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"Los Rabanes" Win "Best Rock Album" at Latin Grammys

Entertainment La Prensa - The CD `Kamikazé' by the Panamanian band Los Rabanes won the "Best Rock Album by a Group" last night at the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. Ricardo De Leon, one of the band's managers, said the musicians from Chitré, are very happy with the award, that they will be arriving in Panama this afternoon, and that they will start a tour of Central America tomorrow. People started partying in Chitré as soon as the award was announced.
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Sen. Clinton opposes Colombia, Panama trade deals

Money Matters By Doug Palmer WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she opposes pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, but would vote for a pact with Peru. The New York Democrat has previously said she opposed the South Korean agreement, but had not taken a position on the three Latin American trade pacts. Her opposition to the Colombia and Panama agreements could make it much harder for the Bush administration to persuade Democrats to vote for those accords, particularly if she holds onto her lead in the race for the Democratic nomination. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 285-132 earlier on Thursday to approve the trade deal with Peru. The Senate is expected to follow suit by the end of the year. (more)
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Veteran's Day Celebrations

Groups & Organizations Ambassador Eaton cordially invites you to attend the Embassy's commemoration of Veterans Day. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 11 at 9:00 a.m. at Corozal Cemetery. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony. History of Veterans Day - In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This cemetery became the focal point of reverence for America's veterans, like similar ceremonies that occurred earlier in England and France. These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I, on November 11 1918. The day became known as "Armistice Day." (more)
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BabyFirstTV comes to Central America

Entertainment By Gary Rusak for KidScreen.com - BabyFirstTV, the 24/7 commercial-free channel for babies, toddlers and their parents, has been picked up for carriage in Central America and the Caribbean through deals with CTV Telecom (Panama) and Columbus Communications Trinidad. The net is available in both English and Spanish and CTV will take the Spanish feed, while Columbus broadcasts in English. The Spanish feed has already been picked up by operators in the US for the domestic Hispanic market as well as Mexico, where the channel airs on Sky Mexico, Cablevision and PCTV.
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House Approves Peru Free-Trade Agreement

Money Matters(RTTNews) - In the first free-trade agreement passed by Congress since Democrats gained control last year, the House on Thursday approved a free-trade agreement with Peru. In a 285 to 132 vote, the House decided to lift tariffs and set rules of investment between the two nations only after Democrats were able to get the White House to accept provisions to protect the Andean environment and strengthen labor protections for Peruvian workers. In exchange, the Peruvian government will lift tariffs on some 80 percent of U.S. industrial exports and two-thirds of farm exports. "We have to be concerned about the impact of trade, but we cannot turn our backs on it," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote. "I absolutely refuse to have the Democratic Party be viewed as an anti-trade party." (more)
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Poisoned medicine killed 471 in Panama

Healthcare Gulf-Times.com - PANAMA: At least 471 people in Panama died at the end of 2006 after ingesting medication that contained poisonous substances imported from abroad, a public prosecutor said on Wednesday, warning the toll could rise. The cases are part of a wide-scale investigation into the contamination of Panamanian-made medications, primarily for allergies and coughs, which used ingredients imported from China and Spain. Judicial authorities are examining a total of 705 cases – 471 of whom died and 234 who were afflicted in some way – and determined that most had consumed contaminated cough syrup. “Analysis of 156 patients revealed diethylene glycol intoxication,” said Dimas Guevara who is investigating the case, adding that the recent batch of autopsies performed showed 107 had died and 49 survived but sustained serious kidney damage. (more)
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Grylls hopes to reassure viewers

Entertainment By Derrik J. Lang - Associated Press - Bear Grylls hopes his reputation as a blood-and-mud-covered adventurer hasn't been tarnished since it was revealed he wasn't totally roughing it during the previous season of his popular Discovery Channel survival series, "Man vs. Wild." "I think the new shows will reassure them," Grylls says of the upcoming season. "Everything is strong and double-checked. Discovery is so cautious of everything. If I so much as break wind on these shows, it's acknowledged now." Last July, British television network Channel 4, which airs the show in the United Kingdom as "Born Survivor," confirmed that Grylls had stayed indoors during some of his expeditions, although the show had depicted him spending the night in the wilderness. (more)
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President Bush Pleased by Approval of Free Trade Agreement with Peru

Money MattersRSS Feed White House News - I am pleased that the House of Representatives today approved the free trade agreement with Peru with a strong bipartisan vote. Expanding markets for our goods and services is crucial to continued economic growth and job creation here in America. Through free trade agreements, we establish rules that ensure the opportunities and benefits of trade are available to our workers, ranchers, farmers, and service providers. For more than 14 years, Peru has benefited from broad access to our markets under the Andean Trade Preference Act. This U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement will help level the playing field for American exporters and investors. Approval of this Agreement will also send a strong signal that we are willing to support those who share our values of economic freedom and democracy. By strengthening our trading relationships with important neighbors - including through our trade agreements with Colombia and Panama - we will significantly advance both our economic and national security interests. These democracies are trying to improve the lives of their citizens. We should embrace the strong commitment to economic freedom of countries in our region, and the efforts of Colombia to fight terrorists and drug traffickers and to strengthen the rule of law. Today's vote in the House is the first on a free trade agreement since my Administration and the leaders of both parties in Congress agreed on a new bipartisan way forward. I encourage the U.S. Senate to quickly approve this Agreement, and for Congress then to move promptly to consideration of our free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
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Asleep At The Wheel - BMW Into the Lake

Cars & Transportation La Critica - A dark skinned man who was approximately 30 years old was the driver of a BMW that left the road yesterday afternoon as he headed toward the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal and went into the water in an area known as Dos Lagos. The man was driving a BMW with license plate 278176 and told several witnesses who saw the accident that he had fallen asleep at the wheel. The subject awaited rescue for almost 20 minutes and said that he did not know how to swim. The vehicle was located yesterday by a boat from the Panama Canal Authority equipped with a sonar system, but the corpse has not been located.
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First Lady Delivers Aid to Flood Victims

WeatherEl Siglo - DARIÉN. The first lady of the Republic, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, attended hundreds of victims in poor communities of Jaqué and Sambú affected by the floods caused by rivers and streams overflowing their banks. Fernandez de Torrijos and her office evaluated the disaster and distributed aid to the affected families, mainly foods and medicines. The floods affected 325 families comprised of 1,716 people.
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Government Not Giving in to Doctor's Demands

Protests & DemonstrationsLa Estrella de Panama - The government is not yielding to requests for wage increases from doctors who work in the public health system and today announced a contingency plan to face the indefinite strike which the doctors have maintained for three days. Panama's Second Vice President and Minister of the Presidency Rubén Arosemena together with the primary health authorities in Panama said in a press conference that the objective of this plan, which they will explain "soon" is to guarantee that patients do not remain without medical attention. They indicated that in the negotiations that will continue today the Panamanian Health Minister Rosario Turner, the Director of the Office of Social Security René Luciani, and the National Medical Negotiating Commission (Comenenal), which called the strike, will deal all the negotiating points that that remain to be decided in order to arrive at the subject of wages, which was the issue that caused the strike. (more)
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Pedro Miguel Gonzalez Gets an American Lawyer

Law & Lawyers
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez
Pedro Miguel Gonzalez
By Gustavo Aparicio for the Panama America - Pedro Miguel González confirmed yesterday he has arrived at an understanding with and American lawyer, Gregory Creig, to explore the possibility getting the American justice system to review the case against him in the United States. He said in order to clarify his legal situation, he has made some approaches, and he is in favor of consenting to provide through his lawyer all of the evidence considered during the trial in Panama so that (the American justice system) knows once and for all that the process was legitimate. He added it is an injustice that the U.S.A. does not recognize his acquittal in Panama.
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Doctors Extend Strike Indefinitely

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Urania Cecilia Molina for La Prensa - Delegates from Panama's public health care system and representatives of all of the associations that make up the National Medical Negotiating Commission (COMENENAL) declared last night that they will remain out on strike indefinitely, until the government presents a concrete economic proposal to them. The doctors decided to submit the proposal presented to them by the government to their bases for evaluation which at this time does not include an option for the 60% wage increase requested by the doctors. That percentage, according to the government, would represent an additional cost of $98 million in 2008. (more)
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Team USA blanks Panama in World Cup

Sports SectionTaichung, Taiwan (Sports Network) - Andy LaRoche drove in four runs, and Matt Wright scattered three hits in six scoreless innings as Team USA blanked Panama, 7-0, in the Baseball World Cup. LaRoche finished 3-for-4 with a pair of two-run doubles, while Evan Longoria was 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs batted in for Team USA, which was coming off 3-0 triumph over Mexico. Wright (1-0) struck out five and did not walk a batter before giving way to Steven Shell. Shell, Chris Perez and Jeff Stevens finished things with an inning of scoreless relief apiece. Team USA pitchers have combined for 18 straight scoreless innings so far in the World Cup. Team USA jumped all over Panama starter Elpidio Pinto (0-1) with a run in the first and three more in the second. Longoria ripped a two-out RBI single in the first. In the second, Tyler Colvin led off with a double and came around on a two-out RBI single by Colby Rasmus. Jayson Nix was then hit by a pitch before LaRoche slapped a two-run double to right. The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth when LaRoche came through with another two-run double to make it 6-0. Longoria then hit Team USA's first home run of the tournament, when he connected on a 2-2 pitch off Panama reliever Ramon Ramirez to make it 7-0. Team USA will face Italy in Group A play on Friday.
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Rich Venezuelans pick Panama over Chavez

Panama News By Andrew Beatty PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Wealthy Venezuelans are emigrating to Panama in increasing numbers, snapping up luxury homes as they fear their leftist President Hugo Chavez will hold onto power for life and rebuild the country in the image of Communist Cuba. With a shining new skyline, Panama is starting to rival Miami as a center for Venezuelan expatriates, who are attracted by the Central American country's booming economy and a lively Caribbean culture like their own. The exodus is compounded by U.S. foe Chavez pushing constitutional changes that would scrap presidential term limits and limit press freedom during political crises. Some worry that Chavez, who is a tight ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro and promises a socialist revolution, will one day copy Cuba's one-party system that sharply restricts personal freedoms. (more)
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Patients Effected By Strike Will Have To Wait Until 2008

Protests & DemonstrationsPanama America - At the Santo Tomas hospital some 653 scheduled medical appointments were lost due to the ongoing doctor's strike yesterday. Even though, doctors attended those patients who arrived from the interior of the country as well as all of the emergency cases that arrived at the hospital. Authorities from the Ministry of Health said that the appointments lost yesterday, some 5,400 from all over the country, will be rescheduled for January and February of 2008.
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Doctors Might Decide To Extend Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsBy Rogelio Adonican for La Estrella de Panama - The first day of the doctor's strike called by the National Medical Negotiating Commission (COMENENAL) came off with mixed support and a rejection of the pressure tactic implemented by doctors all over the country. Groups of patients and some politicians rejected the measure, whereas employees of the Office of Social Security and a group of pensioners expressed their support for the strike. The results after the first day, according to Julio Garcia, a coordinator for the Comenenal, surpassed 90% effectiveness. The government recognized the effect of the strike and demanded that it be suspended, because they have already lost "$800,000 dollars." Doctors and the government returned to the negotiating table yesterday but did not reach a concrete agreement, causing the doctors to continue with the strike which was originally planned for 48 hours. In a meeting that lasted three hours they only managed to advance to point number seven of the ten points the government presented last week to the doctors union as a prerequisite to be able to sit down to discuss wage increases. Garcia finished the encounter somewhat deceived, but still hopes that today they will reach point number 10 which deals with the subject of wages. "In order for the doctors to end the strike it is necessary to reach an agreement on all of the points," said Garcia.
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Men Died Due to Gunshots To The Head

Crime & PunishmentBy Rafael Pérez G. for La Prensa - Autopsies performed yesterday on the two corpses found last Sunday near the road leading to the Centenario Bridge revealed that both men died from gunshot wounds to the head. "The death cause was a piercing wound by firearm projectile to the head", said a press release from the Public Ministry. The report also revealed said the time of death could have been two or three weeks before the bodies were found along the banks of the Arraijancito river in the western part of Panama province. One of the bodies was a thin man, racially mixed, with a dental prótesis. The other was mulato and "moderately" obese, said the authorities, and although no personal identification was found investigators think they could be of Colombian nationality. An examiner from the Forensic Medical Institute made dental impressions and took DNA samples in an attempt to identify the bodies.
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Woman Missing in Miraflores Lake Accident - Crocs In The Water

Cars & Transportation La Prensa - A woman was reported missing in the waters of Miraflores Lake last night near the Panama Canal. She lost control of her vehicle and it left the road and went into the lake. According to witnesses, the driver managed to get out of her car and climb onto the roof, but from there she shouted that she didn't know now to swim. About 35 rescue personnel tried to locate the victim but the search was suspended because the area is infested with crocodiles, according to Dr. Roberto Velasquez Abood, Director of Panama's National Civil Defense System (SINAPROC.)
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Chastened Bear Grylls back with more 'Man vs. Wild'

Entertainment By RICHARD HUFF - DAILY NEWS TV EDITOR - Bear Grylls says life is rocky sometimes, so his response to the controversy surrounding how much of his Discovery Channel series "Man vs. Wild" was staged was to make the new season better than ever. "If we're put off in life when the base is rocked, we'd never get anywhere," Grylls told the Daily News yesterday. Last summer, after a stretch of Grylls being a media star, it was revealed that some of the stuff seen on his series wasn't exactly as it was presented. Grylls, it turned out, had gotten off-camera help at times and slept indoors at times when it was portrayed he was in the wild. The revelations forced Discovery to put a disclaimer on old episodes and on the new season, which gets underway Friday at 9. (more)
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Cuba, Panama, Netherlands, Japan begin with Baseball World Cup wins

Sports SectionTaipei (dpa) - Cuba, Panama, the Netherlands and Japan won on the first day of the 37th baseball World Cup in Taiwan Wednesday. Cuba, holders of 25 World Cup titles, beat Australia 3-2, Panama trounced Spain 5-0 and Japan defeated South Africa 11-1. The Netherlands meanwhile humiliated Thailand 16-0 in a cruel lesson for the first-timers, appearing after China pulled out. The tournament, featuring teams from 16 countries, opened with six matches at four stadiums in Taipei and Taichung. Two evening games were scheduled: Canada vs South Korea, and Venezuela vs Germany. Organizers had to postpone Tuesday evening's scheduled opening game between Taiwan and Italy until November 12 after heavy rain. (more)
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Strike by Panama's doctors leaves 22,000 people without medical care

Protests & DemonstrationsPANAMA CITY, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- At least 22,000 Panamanians were unable to get medical treatment as doctors across the country began a two-day strike seeking better salaries, the state-run Health Insurance Company (CSS) told media Tuesday. Julio Valarini, leader of the National Medical Negotiation Commission, said that 80 percent of the doctors at Panama's main health centers participated in the strike, which began at 7:00 a.m. local time (1300 GMT) Tuesday and planned to last until 7:00 a.m. (1300 GMT) Thursday. The purpose of the strike is to demand a salary increase, from 900 to 1,500 U.S. dollars per month. Ruben Dario Lopez, the CSS head of medical benefits, said the organization had halted all consultations and cut down on the use of emergency rooms, operating theatres and dialysis services. However, the country's Health Minister Rosario Turner said the government could not comply with doctors' demands because the measures were "excessive and unfeasible from a financial point of view". The Commission and the government are discussing a 10-point document which also calls for improvements in service provision.
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U.S. to host men's Olympic qualifiers

Sports Section CHICAGO (AP) -- The United States will host the CONCACAF under-23 championship, a qualifying tournament for the 2008 Olympics in men's soccer. Games will be played in Carson, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn., from March 10-23, U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF announced Tuesday. The two finalists in the eight-team tournament will advance to Beijing. The U.S., Mexico, Canada, Cuba and Haiti -- as well as three to-be-determined squads from Central America -- will participate. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals March 20 and the championship match March 23. The Home Depot Center in Carson, outside Los Angeles, and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will each host three doubleheaders in group play. The U.S. team will play in Tampa during the group stage. The Americans qualified for six straight Olympics from 1980-2000 before missing out in 2004. The three teams from Central America are expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador are competing for the spots. The U.S. squad will convene Dec. 2 for a week long training camp, then will embark on a nine-day tour of China from Dec. 9-17 in which it will play two matches against the Chinese under-23 national team.
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LA jurors award $3.3 million to banana workers in pesticide case

Law & Lawyers By Alex Veiga of The Associated Press - LOS ANGELES — A jury awarded $3.3 million Monday to six workers who claimed they were left sterile by a pesticide used at a banana plantation in Nicaragua operated by Dole Fresh Fruit Co. The workers' lawsuit accused Dole and Standard Fruit Co., now part of Dole, of negligence and fraudulent concealment while using the pesticide DBCP in the 1970s. The chemical was used to kill microscopic worms on the roots of the banana plants. The suit also alleged that The Dow Chemical Co. and Amvac Chemical Corp., manufacturers of the pesticide, knew it could leave workers sterile and kept that information secret. (more)
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Newland, Builder of Trump Panama Resort, to Offer Dollar Bonds

Money Matters By Guillermo Parra-Bernal Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Newland International Properties Corp., a real estate developer created to build a Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower resort in Panama, plans to offer $220 million in secured notes as early as this week, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Newland, based in Panama City, is offering notes due in 2014 that can be redeemed at a premium until after their third year, said the person, who declined to be named because terms aren't set. Proceeds from the transaction will be used for construction of the project and to refinance existing debt. (more)
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Bush presses Congress to pass Latam trade agreements

Politics By Doug Palmer WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Failure to pass free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama would damage U.S. standing in Latin America, President George W. Bush said on Tuesday as he urged Congress to approve both pacts soon. "Champions of false populism in the region are watching Congress. They will use any failure to approve these trade agreements as evidence that America will never treat democracies in the region as full partners," Bush said in an apparent swipe at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a foe of the United States. The House of Representatives is expected to approve a free trade agreement with Peru on Wednesday, setting the stage for the Senate to give final congressional approval in coming weeks. (more)
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Retirees and Pensioners Support Doctor's Strike

Protests & DemonstrationsLa Critica - The Independent Retirees and Pensioners of Panama joined in to support the doctor's strike today, because they think that good medical services and a lack of adequate medical equipment is not a problem caused by the doctor's labor union. Eladio Fernandez, the leader of the Association of Independent Retirees and Pensioners declared his support for the doctor's strike and sustained claims of attempts to privatize the medical system, and reiterated the possibility of street protests if a solution is not found to the problems.
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