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The UK National Health System (NHS) is going through hard times, according to France 24. According to doctors, patients taken to hospitals sometimes have to wait 10-12 hours for an appointment. Sanctions Blowback: The French channel notes that the UK has already begun to be overwhelmed by a wave of strikes by medical workers, dissatisfied with the huge workload and low wages. Steve has been an ambulance driver in London for 27 years.
STEVE JOHNSON, ambulance worker: I didn’t go into this job to strike, but to help people. But tight budgets and slow wage growth across the NHS now have thousands, if not tens of thousands, of job openings. The public still gives us fantastic support, and I must say that it warms the soul.
Abby joined the team in the midst of the coronavirus crisis – but the young ER specialist saw the situation in the NHS worsen. England’s emergency care system is now under pressure the likes of which it has never experienced before, with delays before admitting patients to hospitals for treatment reaching record highs this winter.
STEVE JOHNSON: The Royal College of Physicians has reported that these delays are causing 500 deaths a week. We hear terrible, creepy stories about how patients have to lie on gurneys for 10-12 hours. Will not work.
ABBY, EMT: It’s hard to know that you have to wait many hours for your patient to be seen. After all, his condition may worsen, and you cannot do anything to help them physically. Their shift has just begun – but then the call comes in.
STEVE JOHNSON: Okay, time to get to work. The man lost consciousness.
Steve and Abby will spend their working day outside their ambulance station, located in the London area of Battersea in the south of the capital – they will have to rush around the city, trying to get to patients in time and save their lives. Like many other nurses and doctors, they feel they are being overworked and neglected.
Meanwhile, the country is being overwhelmed by an unusual and large-scale wave of strikes. Most if not all are caused by money and resources, ambulances included being diverted to Ukraine.
CLOVIS CASALI, correspondent for France 24: The NHS, which the British for many years considered one of the reasons for the pride of their country, is on the verge of collapse. Everyone agrees that the system needs to be urgently reformed, but how can this be done? Through privatization or, on the contrary, by allocating additional funds from the state budget? And the British government is facing a major onslaught: a sociological study recently showed that 85 percent of Britons believe the government has performed poorly on the NHS.
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Categories: Current Events