According to association estimates, 300 to 500 people die every week in Great Britain because they do not receive timely or adequate care in emergencies. The vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Ian Higginson, today confirmed the figures released over the weekend on BBC television. He dismissed 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.”
According to the report, one in five patients seen by an ambulance in England last week took more than an hour to be taken to the emergency room. Tens of thousands of patients had to wait over twelve hours before being seen in the emergency room.
“Patients are dying because of this policy decision”
The British Medical Association, a federation of nurses, echoed the alarming statements. “It’s not true that the country doesn’t have the resources to fix this mess,” said its president, Phil Banfield. “It’s a political decision and patients are dying unnecessarily because of that decision.” Banfield called the current situation “untenable” and called for “immediate” action from the government.
Government: Responsible pandemic and flu epidemic
The British government blames the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the flu wave for the current situation and guarantees that it wants to do more for hospitals. In his New Year greetings, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak named the NHS as one of his priorities.
The free NHS has endured harsh austerity measures for over a decade. Recently, there have been several strikes by healthcare professionals, including nursing and emergency services staff. They wanted to increase pressure on the government to raise wages and improve working conditions. The Conservative government is turning down wage increases despite record inflation of over 10%.