efe-epaCaracas

A group of Venezuelan doctors on Thursday joined demonstrations started earlier this week by nurses in this capital and other areas of the country to demand pay hikes and highlight shortages of drugs and other supplies at hospitals.

After holding an assembly, doctors at the capital's Concepcion Palacios Maternity Hospital voted to join the demonstration, while physicians in the western state of Lara also carried out a protest.

The country's health professionals are demanding the same treatment as members of the armed forces, who received an across-the-board pay increase on June 15.

Physician and opposition lawmaker Jose Manuel Olivares said that the wage increase for the country's health personnel should be on the order of 2,000 percent.

Strike votes are planned for next week at hospitals across the oil-rich Andean nation, he told EFE.

Moraima Hernandez, a doctor at Concepcion Palacios, told reporters that she and her colleagues join the nurses in their protest because the problems affect all health personnel equally.

"We are united by the same problems," Hernandez said. "Doctors are going through the same vicissitudes as the rest. Maternity doctors completely endorse the nurses union and support the call for a strike."