In the UK, NHS paramedics are on strike to decry the lack of funding

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In Britain, purchasing power has plummeted and energy bills are skyrocketing. In the midst of a crisis, the NHS, the British health system, sounds the alarm. On Monday, ambulance workers are on strike. First report from London in our series on the difficulties faced by Britons.

This Monday, January 23, British paramedics are on strike again to denounce the crisis facing the NHS, the United Kingdom’s health system. Steve Johnson, who has traveled London in his ambulance for 27 years, is among the strikers, albeit reluctantly.

“I didn’t choose this job to strike but to help people,” he recalls. “But the lack of funding and the low pay rises mean there are tens of thousands of unfilled jobs in the NHS. It’s amazing how people support us at moment. It’s heartwarming, it’s even moving.”

>> To read: “Britain: the strike of paramedics and nurses, a symptom of a health system on its knees”

The delays to reach the paramedics are constantly getting longer and this winter the wait has never been longer in front of saturated hospitals.

“The Royal College of Medicine says there are 500 deaths a week because of too long delays,” continues Steve Johnson. “We have horrific stories of patients waiting for hospital beds for ten or even twelve hours. It’s not acceptable.”


Abby joined the team at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. This young recruit has seen the health system deteriorate since his arrival. “You know, it’s hard to think that we can wait for hours and that your patient’s condition can get worse and that we can’t do anything to help him,” the young woman explains.

The teams that are constantly being called upon are asking for more resources to continue saving lives. A gale of rare magnitude blows across the United Kingdom.

Long regarded as the nation’s jewel, the NHS is in crisis and on the brink of collapse. Everyone agrees on the need to reform this free healthcare system. But how ? Should we privatize certain services or, on the contrary, invest massively?

The government is under pressure. According to a recent poll, 85% of Britons think he is mismanaging the NHS.


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