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Great Britain: English junior doctors begin long strike

Great Britain: English junior doctors begin long strike

As of: January 3, 2024 3:49 am

The British health system NHS is in permanent crisis. Now junior doctors in England are on strike for a full six days – and are demanding 35 per cent more pay. The Conservative government believes it is unaffordable.

There has never been such a long strike by junior doctors in the British health system: from Wednesday, young professionals in England – it has been announced that they will stop work for six days.

It's the hardest time of the year for hospitals when all the people who need to be hospitalized anyway are admitted with infectious diseases like the flu and the coronavirus.

Stephen Powis, medical director of the NHS in England, believes that thousands of treatment appointments should be cancelled: “There will be urgent care, but now there are 1.2 million more people who are having appointments postponed. Waiting lists.”

35 percent additional pay for assistant doctors

The health service is overwhelmed. The waiting list is getting longer, there is a shortage of money, there is a shortage of staff, and the positions cannot be filled.

Half of the doctors working in hospitals are junior doctors, which means they belong to the professional group who are now giving up work for more money. Young doctors demand fair pay. The British Medical Association (BMA), an advocacy group, wants to push for a 35 per cent pay rise. The increase is said to preserve 2008 income levels.

It is argued by the government that it is not affordable. The strikes compounded the problems in the NHS. Over the past 13 years, the Conservative government has significantly reduced spending on the health service, even experts say: the government has made cuts to the NHS.

Just before Christmas 2023, English junior doctors went on strike for a few days.

deficits Hygiene The biggest ones

The situation is so bad that even many patients sympathize with the practitioners. A woman interviewed outside a hospital in Kent said the young doctors were working very hard. They would help people and went on strike because they had no other option.

The authors of the study, conducted by the think tank Public Policy Research, conclude that health care gaps are so large that it will take ten years to cover them and that waiting lists should be reduced to 2010 levels.

Half of those surveyed would pay more taxes if deficits in the public sector, including health services, could be eliminated, the report said.

The government is concerned

The talks have so far produced nothing, with Health Minister Victoria Atkins inviting junior doctors back to the negotiating table. The government is concerned about the massive impact of these strikes.

Most recently, “junior doctors” stopped work for three days in England in December. 88,000 appointments should be cancelled. An agreement has already been reached in Scotland, further strikes could take place in Wales this month, and a referendum by junior doctors on whether to strike in Northern Ireland is still pending.

Christoph Prössl, ARD London, tagesschau, January 2, 2024 6:15 pm