NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 18:31
British ambulance workers have been on strike for the second time in a short time. Just like last time, ambulance drivers, nurses and dispatchers are demanding salary increases because inflation is soaring.
Ambulances do drive out in life-threatening situations, but for less urgent journeys they remain in the garage. Patients are then faced with the question of whether they can arrange their own transport to a hospital.
According to British media, more than 20,000 people took part in the strike. Health authorities say it is still too early to determine the effect of the strike. It is certain, according to them, that the blow to healthcare will be great.
An emergency room worker at a central England hospital spoke to the BBC of an unusually quiet day. Normally there are fifteen or sixteen ambulances at the door, when she was asked, there were five.
Wait too long
Inflation in the United Kingdom was 11.1 percent in October and 10.7 percent in November. According to the unions, ambulance drivers and dispatchers earn almost less than minimum wage.
The unions not only want a salary increase, but also that the capacity of the ambulance service be expanded. According to the unions, people who need an ambulance often have to wait too long for it to reach them.
They also believe that more should be invested in hospitals. Ambulance personnel are often told at a hospital that there is no room or no room for the patient yet. “Sometimes there are hundreds of journeys waiting in the control room, while we sit in the back of an ambulance for hours waiting for a bed to be free in the hospital,” a nurse told the BBC.
Strikes have also been taking place in other sectors of the British economy recently. Particularly in the public sector, salaries have not kept up with the rapidly rising cost of living. A strike by civil servants is expected on February 1.
Monday was the last meeting between the government and the unions, but that did not lead to a breakthrough.
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