Thousands of protesters marched across London in support of healthcare workers.
LONDON — Thousands of protesters marched through London to the British Prime Minister’s residence on Saturday. health care A series of strikes by workers in the government-funded National Health Service over pay and conditions.
Around 40,000 junior doctors, who are the backbone of hospital care, are to walk out across England for three days from Monday.
NHS England says the doctors’ strike will be more disruptive than recent walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff.
The NHS said it would “prioritise urgent and critical care, maternity care and where possible patients with long waiting times for elective care and cancer surgery”, but thousands of appointments and procedures will be canceled within 72 hours. .
It has disrupted the lives of Britons for months as workers demand a pay rise to keep up with double-digit inflation. Health workers, teachers, train drivers, airport baggage handlers, border workers, driver examiners, bus drivers and postal workers also walked off the job to demand higher wages.
Unions say wages, particularly in the public sector, have fallen substantially over the past decade and a cost-of-living crisis has left many struggling to pay their bills.
Britain’s annual rate of inflation was 10.1% in January, down from November’s peak of 11.1% but still a 40-year high. The Conservative government argues that a 10% or more salary increase for public sector workers will further increase inflation.
There have been recent signs of progress in ending the conflict. Nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and ambulance workers called off planned strikes last week to negotiate pay with the government.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he would speak to representatives of junior doctors who agreed to end the walkout.
“Let’s have a constructive conversation to make the NHS a better place to work and ensure we deliver the care patients need,” he tweeted.
But the Association of Doctors, the British Medical Association. He said there had been “no credible negotiations” and said the strike would begin on Monday as planned.