In Britain, beyond NHS strikes, problematic health patterns


Tens of thousands of UK nurses and paramedics will go on strike again from Monday 6 February, their third strike in three months, led by the Unite, GMB and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) unions . Nurses will have extended hours on Tuesday, physiotherapists will be off Thursday and paramedics will be off the next day. According to the union, it is the largest mobilization in the history of the National Health Service (NHS), England’s public health system created in 1948. Workers are mobilizing their wages, demanding increases in line with inflation of around 10%. %, well above the 4% increase proposed for 2022-2023.

In early January, Rishi Sunak’s government appeared to want to negotiate, but union officials now accuse it of falling on deaf ears, unlike the Scottish and Welsh governments. The RCN announced on 3 February that it would drop a strike planned for this week in Wales after the Welsh (Labor) government proposed a further 3% pay rise for nurses. Scottish trade unions have also suspended their campaign after the Scottish government considered a serious proposal.

“But where is Rishi Sunak and why is he not at the table? », Sharon Graham, boss of the Unite union, was surprised at the BBC’s microphone on Sunday.The Prime Minister assured a few days ago that he “will love” Increasing nurses’ salaries, but bowing to their demands would have a strong inflationary effect, and he has made fighting inflation his top priority.His industry secretary Grant Shapps advised strikers on Sunday “Taking British Lives” in danger. If anyone puts their own life in danger, it’s this government! 500 people die every week due to lack of ambulances. The NHS is still short of 130,000 staff, and they are on strike every day! »Sharon Graham responded immediately.

Also read: Articles reserved for our subscribers UK public hospitals rely on ‘charity’ support

largest item in the state budget

In addition to this unprecedented social conflict, the question of the NHS model has also been raised. But for now, neither the Conservative Party, which has been in power for 13 years, nor the Labor Party, which hopes to win Downing Street in the next general election (2024), dare not answer frankly. When it was founded 75 years ago, the NHS was a revolutionary public service: it was completely free. It still does: patients don’t have to pay a single pound for an appointment with a GP, ambulance treatment, emergency room visits or hospital treatment – patients must first be registered with the NHS.

You still have 59.22% of this article to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment