National Health Service Strike: Battling for Fairness and Patient Care

NHS worker strikes, encompassing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, are a rare occurrence on a global scale. However, the recent strike within England’s National Health Service highlights the intolerable conditions faced by its workforce. The actions of the Government have led to the deprivation of rights for both NHS staff and patients, further exacerbated by the Government’s reluctance to engage in meaningful dialogue with the healthcare workforce.


Government oppressing NHS staff: disastrous consequences

The NHS workers’ strike in England significantly impacts the already strained healthcare system, which is grappling with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. These strikes further exacerbate the situation and lead to tensions between NHS workers and the Government, potentially resulting in severe political consequences.

According to the British Medical Association (BMA), healthcare professionals feel the toll of striking physically, mentally, and financially. Burnout is also a widespread issue in the medical profession, with a survey conducted in April revealing that over 40% of junior doctors were experiencing worsened depression, anxiety, stress, or burnout due to the pandemic. Additionally, 60% reported higher-than-normal levels of fatigue and exhaustion.

The UK parliament acknowledges that unions have criticised the Government’s offered pay increases, as they amount to a real-term pay cut. NHS staff argues that the proposed pay rise needs to be revised, especially with the rising cost of living. The lack of satisfactory remuneration could lead to retention issues, with NHS staff becoming increasingly reluctant to stay in their positions and potential recruits being discouraged from joining the NHS. This situation will only worsen the existing staffing problems in the healthcare system.

The NHS workers’ strike is having far-reaching effects on the healthcare system, exacerbating existing challenges caused by the pandemic and raising concerns about the well-being of healthcare professionals, staffing levels, and the overall quality of patient care. The Government and NHS workers must engage in constructive dialogue to address these issues and work towards a sustainable solution.

Government neglecting patients’ health: disastrous consequences

The NHS workers’ strike in England has significant implications for patient care. Amidst the already considerable strain on the NHS due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these strikes further exacerbate the situation, leading to disruptions in essential healthcare services.

The impact of strikes on patient care can be substantial, particularly involving vital staff like doctors and nurses. The ongoing strikes in England are causing a reduction in hospital and clinic capacities, resulting in longer waiting times for appointments and medical procedures, ultimately leading to delays in patient treatments. Such disruptions place additional pressure on emergency services and have a disastrous effect on patient health.

As highlighted by the UK parliament, the union members assert that healthcare workers advocate for improved patient safety. The current staffing shortages and staff burnout are jeopardising the safety of patients, adding to the challenges faced by the NHS.

Moreover, political discussions surrounding the NHS are centred on critical promises, like lowering waiting lists for medical services. However, the waiting lists are currently at an all-time high, with the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, pressing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on this critical issue.

The NHS workers’ strike is intensifying the strain on the healthcare system and posing significant challenges to patient care. The disruption of services, staffing issues, and escalating waiting lists require urgent attention and resolution to ensure the well-being and safety of patients. Effective dialogue between the Government and NHS workers is essential to find a solution that addresses the concerns of healthcare professionals and ultimately benefits patient outcomes.

Longest NHS strike 

According to the Anadolu Agency website, Junior doctors across England began the longest strike in the National Health Service (NHS) history on Thursday for a 35% pay rise. Thousands of appointments will be rescheduled as more senior doctors step in to provide emergency care during the five-day strike by junior doctors. However, these senior doctors will also strike for two days next week.

More than 600,000 NHS appointments in England have been cancelled or postponed due to recent strikes by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Some 86% of British Medical Association (BMA) members backed the latest walkouts, the fourth strike by junior doctors in England since the pay dispute began at the end of last year.

The Government refuses to talk with junior doctors.

BMA says, “We have to get back to talks. The Government’s refusal to talk with junior doctors in England who have strikes planned is out of keeping with the norms of industrial action. Doctors have a right to expect that, as in Scotland and many other recent industrial disputes, talks will continue right up to the last minute to try and reach an agreement without the need to strike.

“The Government has missed chance after chance to provide a credible offer and potentially bring to an end the industrial action by junior doctors in England, and while there are differences between junior doctors and governments in England and Scotland, the UK Government has far more financial freedom to give doctors what they deserve.

According to Politico, the Labour leader Starmer says the Tories have yet to say how they’ll pay for their NHS staff.

Strikes are the only solution

In general, strikes are viewed as a last resort after exhausting other negotiation and dispute-resolution methods. Recently, doctors expressed their determination on Twitter, stating they are committed for the long run and calling on the Government to come to the negotiation table.

The British Medical Association (BMA) reports that junior doctors are urging the Government to return to the negotiation table as they commence a new strike in England, making it the most extended single walkout in NHS history. However, the aim is not to create a historical record but to find a resolution swiftly. The strike can be cancelled if the UK Government emulates the example set by the Government in Scotland. The BMA insists that the Government drops the illogical precondition of refusing to engage in talks during strike announcements and instead presents a credible offer to the doctors they are addressing.

The Government’s actions are being criticised for violating the rights of NHS staff, particularly regarding fair compensation. Despite negotiations between unions and the Government to improve wages and working conditions for their members, the hardworking NHS staff still needs to receive the pay they deserve. As a response, the NHS staff and their supporters are encouraged to organise protests, which can compel the Government to reconsider its wage and working conditions policies through peaceful demonstrations.

In conclusion, the strike by doctors and the call for the Government to return to negotiations reflect the seriousness of the situation. The aim is to find a swift resolution and ensure that NHS staff receives the compensation they rightfully deserve. Organised protests are a powerful tool to pressure the Government and bring about positive changes in wages and working conditions.

Latest news

Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here