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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Great Britain faced with an unprecedented mobilization of medical personnel


Tens of thousands of nurses and paramedics went on strike Monday in Britain, during a mobilization of unprecedented scale to denounce their working conditions and wages. Unheard of in Britain. Medical personnel are mobilizing en masse, Monday, February 6, across the country in the context of a conflict with the government over their working conditions and salaries.

If days of strike have already been organized here and there by nurses and paramedics since the end of last year, this is the first time that all will demonstrate together, mainly in England, marking the most important social movement known by the National Health Service (NHS) in 75 years of existence.

Further actions are planned throughout the week, pointing to additional challenges for an already strained healthcare system.

Among the main demands is an increase in wages taking into account inflation, which has reached a peak in four decades in the country.

The government replies that such a project is not financially feasible and that it would cause an additional price increase, in addition to favoring an increase in interest rates and loan repayments.

Some 500,000 workers, mostly in public services, have gone on strike since last summer, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to find a way out of the dispute and avoid further disruption, especially in transport and education.

Asked on Sky News about the potential danger posed by the strikes to human life, the Minister of Commerce said he was “concerned that this is the case”, citing a lack of cooperation between alternative services, such as the army, and the strikers.

The National Nurses Association was “very responsible … in telling the NHS when they were going to strike, and emergency blankets were able to be put in place”, said Grant Shapps.

“Unfortunately (…) the ambulance unions refuse to provide this information,” he added. The paramedics reject the minister’s accusations.

Traditionally a source of pride for many Britons, the national health system is under severe strain with millions of patients on waiting lists for operations and, every month, thousands more not receiving medical treatment. emergency at short notice.

Tens of thousands of nurses have left the medical sector, including some 25,000 last year alone, causing a shortage that is affecting patient care. The unions explain this situation by the low wages.

Despite weeks of negotiations, no agreement has been reached between the unions and the government, while the first named have said they are ready to revise downwards their demand for a salary increase of 5% above the l ‘inflation.

Rishi Sunak said in a television interview last week that he would “like to give nurses a huge pay rise”, but the government had to make tough choices and was funding additional equipment and ambulances.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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