United Kingdom’s health care system is in the worst crisis in decades because of Corona
The British healthcare system is on the brink of collapse and is facing “the most serious crisis in its 72-year history” – said Sir Simon Stevens.
Hospitals and doctors’ practices are overstretched, increasingly resorting to emergency measures such as placing sick patients in corridors or adjoining rooms. GP practices are extending their opening hours to 16 hours or even longer, and GPs and clinicians, nurses and physician assistants are foregoing vacation or even baby breaks to help.
According to the British Nurses Union, thousands of already retired professionals have volunteered to return to work since the beginning of the year to help out on hospital wards. But that’s still not enough, according to Sir Simon, as thousands of professionals have contracted COVID-19 and are now missing.
Since Christmas, more than 15,000 new patients have been admitted to NHS hospitals as inpatients, according to London’s Department of Health. The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized is higher than ever before, according to Health Minister Matt Hancock.
Meanwhile, new statistics have emerged showing that the UK now has one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world – currently standing at 455 per 100,000 population (Germany: 136 deaths per 100,000). 33,355 new cases of infection were reported on the island on Tuesday. Together with the 1610 COVID-19 deaths on the same day, the UK has so far recorded a total of 91,470 deaths as a result of the pandemic.
According to health policy observers, the fact that the head of the NHS is publicly drawing attention to the crisis, in some cases with very alarming words, shows how serious the situation is. According to TV channel Sky, a new COVID 19 patient is currently admitted to a British clinic “every 30 seconds.” Senior officials such as Sir Simon do not usually comment publicly in this way.
Meanwhile, vaccinations against COVID-19 are progressing much better in the Kingdom than in Germany. So far, some 4.2 million patients have been vaccinated nationwide, according to the London Department of Health. Currently, 140 vaccinations are administered per minute. Some vaccination centers are open around the clock, and an increasing number of primary care practices are participating.
Health Minister Hancock said “by September” everyone who wants to be vaccinated in the UK should be offered an appointment. After vaccinating residents of nursing homes, those over 80, and health care workers, vaccinations of those over 70 started this week.