February 6, 2023 16:28
On Monday, the British health system is facing the largest strike in its history, as tens of thousands of nurses and paramedics decided to stop working on the same day.
National Health System (NHS) staff began a series of widespread strikes in December, while inflation topped 10% in the UK. But this is the first time that nurses and paramedics have gone on strike on the same day, which will cause major unrest in hospitals that are already witnessing an alarming situation.
Nurses say that their salaries do not keep pace with the high inflation witnessed in the country in the last decade, so that they are unable to pay their bills amid the high prices of fuel, food and housing.
They warn that qualified nurses are quitting in large numbers due to financial pressures, leading to a shortage of staff. This situation puts patient care at risk.
“We’re busy 24/7 and it feels exhausting doing three people’s jobs,” said trainee nurse Victoria Pask on the trauma ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England.
“I love my job, I love the work I do, and making a difference to patients’ lives. But I can’t imagine myself doing that until I’m 60,” she added.
Over the past week, 500,000 people, including teachers, transport workers and Border Force staff at UK air and seaports, have stopped working.
The Royal College of Nursing Syndicate said Monday’s strike will affect nurses in about a third of hospitals in England and most of Wales.
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