Some 200 doctors protested outside Son Espases Hospital. | Miquel À. Cañellas

On Tuesday, Miguel Lazaró, the president of the Simebal doctors union, estimated that between 70 and 80% of doctors in the Balearics were on strike, although he accepted that support for the strike varied.

The action in the Balearics was part of a nationwide strike, the first time there has been one for 25 years. It was called in protest at a Spanish government decree which allows for doctors to be transferred to areas that aren't their specialities and approves the express granting of Spanish qualifications.

Lazaró denounced the difficulties that the IB-Salut health service had created for the strike by not approving minimum service levels until the last minute. Nevertheless, he described the strike as a success. "There are more than we had expected."

He hoped that the national minister of health, Salvador Illa, will take steps to end the strike action by repealing the decree. A repeat is planned for the final Tuesday of every month.

Outside Son Espases, some 200 doctors protested in voicing their rejection of the decree.