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Greek doctors on Thursday began a 24-hour strike in protest of a new law expanding their work hours, pay cuts and generally poor work conditions.

Report says state hospital doctors are angered by a new regulation that extends the maximum hours of work from the present 48 to 60 hours per week.

Their union, OENGE, said that instead of piling more work on the doctors, more medical staff should be employed.

“We want more employees now,” the union said in a statement.

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Doctors are also protesting pay cuts brought about by austerity measures dictated by international creditors in return for three bailout packages since the Greek financial meltdown in 2010.

“During the stoppage, state hospitals will treat only emergencies,’’ a spokesman told Greek TV.

The financial crisis effectively blocked the hiring of new medical staff, and many hospitals are now staffed with ageing doctors and nurses.

Limited chances of finding work have spurred many young doctors to emigrate.

According to the Athens doctors union, over 18,000 have left over the past seven years, with the majority moving to Britain, Germany and Gulf states.

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