Thousands of doctors began a three-day strike in British hospitals on Monday to demand pay rises, kicking off a week marked by numerous 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. have gone 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 the government presents its budget, is expected to be one of the biggest days of labor action in several years. Civil servants, teachers, London Underground drivers and BBC journalists in particular will stop working. A demonstration should take place in London, in the district of Westminster.
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 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) per 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 loans 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.
The leaders of the NHS, the public health service, are worried 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.
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