Senior Doctors Go on Strike in UK, Crippling Health Service

1 min read
People hold British Medical Association (BMA) branded placards calling for better pay, as they stand on a picket line outside University College Hospital (UCH) in central London [Photo: AFP]

by Saurav Sarkar

Senior doctors in the United Kingdom went on strike over pay and conditions on July 20, reported ABC News. The doctors struck only a few days after a five-day strike by junior doctors. The industrial actions have put a wrench in the works of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

According to ABC News, “Thousands of operations and appointments have been canceled, and health officials say the impact of the latest round of strikes to hit the country’s public health system is likely to be the biggest yet because almost no work can be done at hospitals unless it’s supervised by a senior doctor.”

The senior doctors are calling out what they see as continuous below-inflation raises. British Medical Association (BMA) consultant committee’s chair Vishal Sharma told the BBC, “We are undervalued and overworked. This government is failing us and failing patients.”

According to the BMA’s analysis, real wages have fallen for senior doctors by 27 percent since 2008. The Conservative government is offering only a 6 percent raise this year.

The industrial action has left some NHS patients frustrated. Sally Knight, a 68-year-old UK resident, told the BBC, “We did everything we should have done in COVID to protect the NHS and now when I want them, they are letting me down really.”

But others appear to be more accommodating. “They do a good job, they need more money… it’ll all get sorted out in the end… You’ve just got to be patient, so I’m a patient patient,” said a woman named Carol (last name undisclosed) awaiting hip surgery to Sky News.

Author Bio: Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at sauravsarkar.com.

Credit Line: from the Globetrotter News Service

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