england could see the longest strike in nhs history next month
Part of an ongoing row over pay, junior doctors in England – those below the consultant level – have announced the longest single walkout in the history of the National Health Service (NHS).
The state-funded system was set up in 1948 to provide free healthcare “from the cradle to the grave”. But the department has lately been marred by several strikes, potentially hurting patients.
In accordance with a Friday announcement, scores of hospital doctors in England will strike for five days from 7 am on July 13 till the same time on July 18.
The stoppage will come just days after the NHS marks its 75th anniversary on July 5. But could a better pay offer from the government help avert the strikes?
‘Full Pay Restoration Now’
A series of recent walkouts by doctors and other medical staff over pay rises and conditions has impacted health care, forcing the rescheduling or cancellation of appointments.
According to health officials, the strikes have disrupted patient care, just as the service struggles to clear a backlog in treatment caused by the pandemic and years of under-staffing.
The long walkouts in July will also follow a 72-hour strike in mid-June against the government’s refusal to enhance its offer of a 5% pay increase.
Medics say as inflation rages and salaries fail to keep pace with it, they have seen a 26% pay cut in real terms in the past 15 years.
They want compensations to be restored to 2008-09 levels. This would mean an average pay award of about 35% this year, the government said, stressing it’s too costly.
Junior Doctors Receiving Offers To Move Abroad
Vivek Trivedi and Robert Laurenson from the British Medical Association junior doctors’ committee said the gov’t seemed intent on letting the NHS “decline to the point of collapse”.
They brought the spotlight on a BMA survey that found 53% of the nearly 2,000 respondents had received offers to move abroad in the past four months.
The duo, who jointly chair the committee, said the strikes could be avoided if the British government brings them a “credible offer” on pay restoration.