Thursday, 9 February, 2023

UK PM backs 'radical' action to resolve healthcare crisis

UK PM backs 'radical' action to resolve healthcare crisis

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday called for "bold and radical" action to reform the crisis-hit state healthcare system as he held emergency talks with health leaders.

After years of underfinancing, the NHS state-funded health service is struggling to meet the demand for emergency medical care during a particularly difficult winter with high rates of coronavirus and flu.

Hospital and ambulance staff have launched rare strike action -- in the case of the nurses, for the first time in 100 years -- with many members of the public sympathetic to their cause.

Nurses are calling for a salary hike to reflect inflation soaring above 10 percent.

After being accused of inaction, Sunak was hosting England's chief medical officer Chris Witty, and NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard at Downing Street on Saturday.

"During the pandemic we had to bring boldness and radicalism to how we did things in order to get through," the prime minister was quoted as saying by Downing Street.

In a speech this week Sunak set out five priorities for 2023 including shortening NHS waiting lists.