Britain turns to military to meet shortage of medical staff in hospitals
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Friday it has begun deploying the military to support hospitals suffering from staff shortages and extreme pressure due to the country’s record number of COVID-19 cases .
The government said 200 armed forces personnel have been made available to support the National Health Service (NHS) in London over the next three weeks.
The UK has seen a surge in coronavirus cases due to the Omicron variant, reporting more than 150,000 new cases every day for the past week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said England could face an escalation without restrictions due to vaccination and the reduced severity of the variant, but warned it would be a difficult few weeks as staff are barred from self-isolating .
The government has also deployed the armed forces to assist with COVID-19 testing and vaccination programmes.
Health Minister Sajid Javid said, “Once again, the Armed Forces are assisting the National Health Service workers, who are working tirelessly across the capital, helping the healthcare service during this difficult winter period, where most needed.” ,
The United Kingdom has recorded nearly 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 and, after a two-year pandemic, its state health service was already facing a crisis in morale and personnel, before a recent surge in Omicron, by lawmakers According to a published report. Monday Thursday.
The report claimed that the staffing crisis could derail efforts to hold on to record waiting lists for alternative treatments due to the COVID-19 disruption.
Chand Nagpaul, chairman of the board of the British Medical Association, said there were unprecedented levels of absenteeism on the NHS.
“Although the government has turned to the military for help in London, we must not forget that we have a really national problem before us,” Nagpaul told Sky News.
“It’s a national problem and we’ve never known this level of goofiness before.”
(Reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Andrew McAskill, translated by Jose Muoz in the Gdansk Newsroom)
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