A Letter from the British Medical Association

こんなショッキングな文書が、今日付けのイブニング・スタンダード紙に掲載された。このBritish Medical Association(イギリス医師会)からの公開レターによると、明日6月21日、医師による24時間ストライキが結構されるとの事。BBCによると、イギリスで医者のストが行われるのは、1975年以来初めてだそうだ(以前もストがあったという事も驚きだが)。




It was shocking to find this open letter from British Medical Association, published on the Evening Standard today; the letter declares that doctors will go on 24-hour strike tomorrow on June 21. It is said that this is the first strike by doctors since 1975 (BBC news). I was surprised by the fact that even doctors go on strike as I’ve never heard of it in Japan, but after searching on internet, I realised that there had been cases in the world.

I don’t know much about the major reform on their pension scheme that causes this stunning decision, but it seems to be more or less the same as other public sector strikes (past entry). I thought industrial actions are for unfairly treated workers fighting to improve their working conditions, but not for the well-paid professionals with prestige. They have a right to strike and I don’t want to debate about the details of the pension scheme reform, but ethically it is a bit hard for me to accept it. I feel sorry for millions of patients who have to spend a nervous day without doctors?? Due to the strike action, non-urgent treatment will be postponed or cancelled and I am afraid this will cause huge disappointment and outrage by many patients who have been patiently waiting for months under NHS system famous for notoriously long waiting period for ‘non-urgent’ treatment. This type of sudden cancellation actually happened to my friend the day before the operation (she had been waiting 3 months to the point), due to another urgent operation took her space, and had to wait another painful month to the next available slot. Poor people who have an appointment tomorrow…

However, there is some good news. Telegraph says three quarters of surgeries to stay open as usual. There is also an interesting theory that the death rate goes down when doctors strike! Some examples are in Israel in 1973 (▼39%), Columbia in 1976  (▼35%), and LA in 1976 (▼18%) (ref: BBC / full fact.org). Though this phenomenon can be explained that non-emergency procedures are postponed or cancelled during a strike, the fact that many people die during an operation is a scary fact as well for me.

Hope I don’t hear any tragic stories on media the day after…


One response to “A Letter from the British Medical Association

  1. Pingback: Another Day, Another Strike: London Buses | everydaylife.style

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