Around seven and a half million English people are on the waiting list for elective surgeries and will wait more than a year for knee, hip or hernia surgery. But the situation also affects those who cannot wait, such as cancer patients.
The NHS is an institution of national pride for both Conservatives and Liberals and has always been on the country's political agenda. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to reduce the waiting list in January, but since then 200,000 patients have joined the list.
The problem has been going on for more than ten years, as there are one hundred and fifty-four thousand vacant positions for doctors, nurses and dentists, which the government has not been able to recruit.
According to government forecasts, the situation will get worse. By 2026, there will be a shortage of more than half a million healthcare professionals. Two main reasons are the aging population and the insufficient number of medical school graduates, who cannot meet the demand.
Research published in the magazine LancetIn August, it was revealed that 48% of NHS professionals interviewed intended to resign or change careers, and that 45% felt the government was undervaluing them given the high pressures the position required.
One solution is to recruit immigrants. Today, 20% of healthcare professionals in the UK are foreign nationals. Indians are the largest group followed by Filipinos and Nigerians.
But recently, Conservative Rishi Sunak's government announced stricter rules for foreign professionals who want to work, for example, in nursing homes. With the new immigration rules, they will no longer be able to bring their family members to live in the country.
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