It will continue for 4 days.. A new strike for doctors in hospitals in England
Thousands of doctors in British hospitals on Friday began a four-day strike to demand better wages in the face of still-high inflation in the country, in another social move within the crisis-hit National Health Service (NHS) system.
And the “junior doctors” intensified their movement for months, which led to the postponement of thousands of medical appointments.
Their last strike was in mid-July.
These doctors have lost 26% of their salaries since 2008, when savings were imposed in the framework of austerity policies, as reported by the British Medical Association, which is calling for a 35% increase in salaries.
The Conservative government opposes this, adhering to its “final” proposal, which it submitted in the middle of last month, with an increase of 6%, in addition to a bonus of 1250 pounds sterling (about 1586 dollars).
As inflation weighs on purchasing power in the UK, nurses, doctors and paramedics have joined the strikes.
Robert Lawrenson, a member of the British Medical Association, told AFP that many colleagues leave for other countries or choose other jobs because the salary is too low to practice medicine.
He added: “If we can pay doctors better and we can make the NHS system a better place to work, many of our terms will improve, because we will have fewer holes to fill in the work schedule.”
“We go to work and sometimes we don’t know if there will be a full staff with us or if there will be a shortage,” said Sumi Manirajan, the doctor participating in the strike. “These situations are simply no longer viable.”
According to NHS figures, 835,000 medical appointments have been postponed due to various strikes since the end of 2022.
With the current strike, the number is expected to exceed one million appointments.
And 7.6 million people are waiting for their turn to receive treatment in England, which is a record number, despite the promises of the Rishi Sunak government to improve the situation.
British Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the strike “only harms patients” and “increases pressure” on non-striking staff.
For his part, Julian Hartley, an official in the “NHS” told the BBC, “So far, we estimate the cost of the strikes at one billion pounds” (1.15 billion euros), explaining that the institution will have to pay “bonuses to consultants to cover the absence of doctors” who are striking.