England: Nurses on strike to demand more investment

England: Nurses on strike to demand more investment

Health professionals from the public health system have been protesting since December for better pay and working conditions. Record recession and inflation eroded their salaries and the pandemic drove them into unprecedented depression


In December, two weeks later The first major public health protest In Spain, British male and female nurses announced a strike to demand a pay rise. More than a month later, the category is still paralyzed, with paramedics and ambulance drivers joining forces after frustrated negotiations with the government.

The strike is already the biggest in the history of the British public health system. Nurses will have their salaries readjusted for inflation – which is 10.1%, the highest in 40 years – with a 5% increase, representing a total of 19% readjustment. The nursing salary gap is wide 5 thousand pounds Compared to 2010, professionals face longer shifts, understaffing, more stress, and physical and mental exhaustion. “Over the years, my ability to provide the care my patients deserve has been compromised,” she said. CNN Andrea Mackay worked as a nurse at a hospital in South West England for seven years. “The reality is that every day, nurses across the UK go into understaffed hospitals (…) This is unsustainable,” concluded Mackay.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), equivalent to the Integrated Health System in Brazil, has, since 2010, Less funding as a result of austerity Widely implemented in Europe after the 2008 crisis. Tribune, the NHS is facing “its worst phase yet”, with long waiting lists for care, delays in services and few doctors for many consultations. Today, the UK has reached 7.2 million people waiting for treatment, equivalent to one in eight citizens. In 2016, according to data from the British Medical Association, there were 3.3 million patients.

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Epidemic, according to experts consulted Tribune, only accelerated the deficit situation that had already taken shape over the past decade. “It was not Covid that doubled the waiting list in England from 2.5 million in 2010 to 4.6 million by the end of 2019, or the subsequent increase to 7.2 million, but the government’s lack of proper funding and the resulting deficit. NHS capacity”, argued John Lister, a member of Keep Our NHS Public, which joined the protests.

Immunity targets were not met in this scenario. This is the state of cancer: in 2019, 1 in 5 cancer patients waited more than two months to start treatment. In the mental health area, NHS capacity shortages have led to increased referrals to clinics and private beds. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the union of paramedics and emergency physicians, estimates that between 300 and 500 people die a week due to delays in emergency response.

Nurses and paramedics are not the only critics of Britain’s health care system. On Monday (9/1), primary doctors also joined the strike; About 65% of which are professionals People working in the NHS want to quit, according to a British Medical Association (BMA) survey. Young doctors’ earnings have also fallen over the past decade – and the group is asking for their salaries to be restored to 2008 levels. “This claim is not controversial. Are we a quarter less than we were then? We are protecting people in a pandemic, putting ourselves and our loved ones at risk in the face of an unknown virus, and our work is worth only empty palms and falling wages? asked Dan Zahidi, PMA East of England Convenor, Regional Committee of Junior Doctors. According to him, a junior doctor’s salary has declined by more than 26% in real terms in the last 14 years; A 2% increase in July 2022, a “mockery” with higher inflation. “After years of studying and racking up around £100,000 in debt, £14 an hour is devastating,” he laments. Today is about the NHS There are 11,000 doctor posts and 46,000 nurse postsIt was occupied by professionals from developing countries, according to Zahedi.

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Organizations representing striking professionals, such as the Royal College of Nursing, point to a lack of negotiation effort on the part of the British government, which has not yet signaled concrete proposals to raise wages. “We are ready to make some concessions through negotiations and we request the government to do this as soon as possible,” he said. BBC Helen Wylie, Director, Royal College of Nursing, Wales. The region’s government said it would join efforts to “deliver better outcomes” and called on the UK central government to use the resources at its disposal to “pay NHS staff fairly”.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a Conservative, said in December that the government did not have the resources to pay for the pay rise – which would cost £28 billion and said “every British family will have to pay £1,000 in taxes to fund it.” The opposition, led by the Labor Party, characterized the Conservatives’ bill as “too inflated”. “The government has already considered a salary hike of 2% to 3%. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies notes, such a pay rise would cost around £18bn more. The government will get a third of that in extra taxes and national insurance paid by public sector workers, which will reduce spending by $6 billion. “This increase is less than half the £28 billion announced by the government,” said MP Richard Burgon. “Every family does not need to pay taxes. A small wealth tax is sufficient for wealthy households with assets above £10 million.

Monday (9/1), newspaper The Guardian It is learned that the government is mulling a single payment in the form of subsidy for health professionals. However, workers and their representatives have already signaled that companies also want to discuss pay on an ongoing basis, not just for a short period of time.

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