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El Salvador's hospital strike turning away patients

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Thousands of sick people are being forced to return home without care in El Salvador as a strike by doctors and hospital workers intensifies.

The work stoppages began last week in San Salvador, but have expanded on Wednesday. Public health officials called a meeting with unions and doctors to try to end the impasse.

The government has refused to enact a law passed by the legislature giving a raise to all of the workers. Workers have rejected a government proposal to give raises to all those making less than $1,500, which the government says covers 85 per cent of workers.

Alex Carballo is a leader of a medical workers union. He says workers are taking care of emergencies and people who were already hospitalized. But others are turned away without care.