Healthcare Workers Turn Their Backs to Belgian Prime Minister During Hospital Visit

Workers at a Belgian hospital turned their backs to Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès as she paid a visit on May 16.

The employees were protesting what they claim is the government’s failure to adequately support healthcare staff and against cuts to healthcare made when Wilmès was Minister of Budget, local media reported .

Video from CHU Saint-Pierre/UMC Sint-Pieter hospital in Brussels shows the large crowd of both medical and non-medical hospital staff in masks and personal protective equipment as Wilmès’ convoy arrived. When the first vehicles approached, the group turned their backs,
Wilmès tweeted about the hospital visit, writing (via Google Translate): “The visits to the Chirec-Delta and Saint-Pierre hospitals were a moment of meetings, an important dialogue for nursing staff as for me. Health situation, protections, mental load, promotion of the profession, financing of health care, no subject was excluded.”

According to World Health Organization data from May 19, Belgium had recorded 55,559 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 9,080 deaths. Credit: Julien Versteegh via Storyful