By: Beverley-Ann Perera-Anderson, 2020health.org
England is a lovely country to live in. Not only are we fortunate to have beautiful landscapes and architecture, but we also have one of the most thriving capital cities which tourists flock to. Apart from these beautiful surrounds and having a vibrant capital, we also have the ability to speak freely and to have our voices heard. One way many people choose to express their opinion is by going on strike.
The strike that took place yesterday was the biggest in over 20 years to affect the NHS. Due to the actions of many, hospitals cancelled a large number of non-urgent operations (it is believed 7,000 out of more than 30,000 were affected). This does not include the tens of thousands of appointments and tests that were also affected across the UK.
Emergency services were able to provide services during this period due to the fact that unions and managers were able to agree contingency plans before the walkout took place. However, some emergency services such as the London Ambulance Service still experienced severe pressure, and authorities were forced to ask people to phone 999 only in life-threatening situations.
Unarguably, NHS workers deserve to be compensated for the hard work they do and the difficult situations they are faced with everyday. However, this does not mean that they should walk out on a job with no thought to the consequences and impact on the very people that they have promised to protect and serve. There are some professions in our society that simply cannot be so self-centred. It is great to stand-up for oneself, but there are times when the greater good must prevail.