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Sunday, February 5, 2023

“Patients are dying because of this decision”

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The vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Ian Higginson, confirmed the figures published over the weekend on BBC television on Monday. He rejected the suggestion that the difficulties were temporary.

“When you’re there, you know it’s a long-term problem, not just a short-term one.” One in five patients picked up by an ambulance in England last week took more than an hour to get to the emergency room. Tens of thousands of patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be treated in the emergency room.

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The British Medical Association, a federation of nurses, joined the alarming statements on Monday. “It’s not true that the country doesn’t have the resources to fix this mess,” said its chairman, Phil Banfield. “It’s a political decision and patients are dying needlessly because of that decision.” Banfield described the current situation as “unsustainable” and called for “immediate” action by the government.

The British government blames the consequences of the corona pandemic and the flu wave for the current situation and assures that it wants to do more for hospitals. In his New Year’s greetings, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak named the NHS as one of his priorities.

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The free NHS has suffered from harsh austerity measures for more than a decade. Recently there have been several strikes by healthcare workers, including nursing staff and emergency services. They wanted to increase pressure on the government to raise wages and improve working conditions. The Conservative government is refusing wage increases despite record inflation of more than 10 percent.

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