Tens of thousands of doctors on strike in UK hospitals
Thousands of doctors began a three-day strike in UK hospitals on Monday to demand pay rises, kicking off a week marked by widespread social unrest.
Strikes have affected several professions in recent months in the United Kingdom, where inflation exceeds 10%. Railway workers, nurses, border police, teachers, etc. went on strike to demand increases as food and energy prices soar.
The government has entered into negotiations with nurses and railway workers in particular.
But Wednesday, the day when the government will present its budget, should be one of the most important days of union action for several years. Civil servants, teachers, London Underground drivers and BBC journalists in particular will stop working. A demonstration is expected to take place in London, in the Westminster area.
Doctors launched the movement on Monday. Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) have set up pickets in front of hospitals. Their movement is expected to last three days.
According to the BMA, these doctors have lost 26% of their remuneration, in real terms, since 2008, when an austerity cure was imposed on the health services.
This union launched a campaign claiming that waiters in cafes were paid more than doctors at the start of their careers. The latter are paid around 14 pounds sterling (15.8 euros) an hour, according to BMA.
“Thanks to this government, you can earn more by serving coffees than by saving patients”, according to a BMA slogan.
'I thought that by becoming a doctor I would be financially independent, but I'm not,' said Becky Bates, a recent graduate from central England .
“With tuition and personal loans, I left medical school with a debt of over £100,000. Today, my salary does not even allow me to repair my car in the event of a problem,” she lamented.
Leaders of the NHS, the public health service, have expressed concern about the consequences of this strike on patients.
The NHS is going through a deep crisis, weakened by austerity policies and the consequences of the pandemic. On February 6, it faced the largest strike since its inception in 1948, when nurses and paramedics stopped work for the first time on the same day.