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Thousands Of Russians Rally Against Health-Care Cuts

Thousands of health-care workers marched through Moscow and other Russian cities to protest plans to close hospitals and lay off thousands of doctors in a move aimed at reforming health care.

At least 4,000 doctors, health workers, and others rallied in freezing temperatures in Moscow on November 30 against plans to close 28 hospitals and clinics and to lay off some 10,000 doctors by next year.

Many protesters wore white hospital coats over their winter jackets and one banner read "Save money on war, not on doctors."

Similar demonstrations were held in St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

Western sanctions over Russian actions in Ukraine and low oil prices have depleted state budgets and devalued the ruble.

Russian officials say the cuts and closures are a much-needed step to modernize remnants of Soviet-era health care.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP