“A supermarket cashier gets paid better per hour than a healthcare worker.”

the UK Doctors They just finished the last day of their strike. Since June 27thmainly based on Demand a salary increase Framed in a family loss situation that has saturated the NHS and created a long waiting list of patients for surgery.

Joan PonceNHS England Area Director, is a Spanish nurse who has been working in the UK for more than two decades. He explained to ConSalud.es that “ The demands that motivated this strike remain the same. “Compared to the last 11 strikes by English doctors,” it reflects the little progress made in these demonstrations.

Doctors in the UK are demanding better working conditions based on a 35% pay rise. “In the last 14 years of Conservative government, Doctors lost 25% of their purchasing power.“They are demanding to be paid £15 to £20 an hour,” says Ponce, who explains that salaries have been frozen or raised below the rate of inflation in recent years.

“In the past 14 years, doctors have lost 25% of their purchasing power.”

“Currently, many non-skilled jobs such as doctors or nurses earn slightly less than what a health care worker earns. For example, today You can find a job as a supermarket cashier where the working hours are better paid. “From a nurse or a doctor,” Ponce explains.

As happened in the previous strike in January, health workers stopped working. Impact on waiting listsIt is already high due to the saturation of the health system. “There are currently more than seven million people on waiting lists, a program that has been in place since before the Covid-19 pandemic and that has been exacerbated by a lack of staff,” explains Pons. There are over 100,000 vacancies in the UK’s health system.And demand from both doctors and nurses.

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The UK health system is very similar to Spain, explains Pons. “What happens here is that there is a lack of investment and social infrastructure. It is The social system is failing.So, there is Many patients are unable to return home because the conditions necessary to safely discharge patients from the hospital are not in place.“This causes a lack of free beds,” explains Ponce. This also has a major impact on the capacity of hospitals, which are over 90% occupancy and “have run out of beds on several occasions,” warns the nurse.

“Currently, 10% of the population, or 7 million people, are on the waiting list for surgery in a health system that cannot cope.”

Another English public health problem known as “Ambulance crisis“It’s something that used to only happen in the winter but now also happens during the summer,” Ponce explains. Saturation Health centers, the nurse explains, cause patients who arePatients transferred to hospitals cannot be accepted due to space constraints. They have to wait for hours in ambulances “at closed hospital doors” until a bed becomes free.

Over the past decade, the UK has been closing beds, becoming “one of the countries with fewer doctors, fewer nurses, fewer beds per capita,” explains Pons. One statistic, he admits, makes his “hair stand on end” and that’s it. Since 2010, the UK has closed 25,000 beds.He added: “This has put a huge strain on the health system, leading to the cancellation of many operations due to lack of beds and raising the number of people on the waiting list to seven million, which means that 10% of the population is now waiting for intervention in the health system “This is not enough,” Pons warns of the economic consequences of sick leave.

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This strike occurs in Election periodwith a government in power, making it difficult to start talks to meet their demands. The aim of the strike may be to highlight during this party campaign the need for changes to health in the UK so that proposals are included in the platforms of parties running for election in a three-year campaign. Key issues:Economy and Migration health.

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