Committed nurses feel neglected in Britain - GulfToday

Committed nurses feel neglected in Britain

British nurss

Clinical staff wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they care for a patent at the Intensive Care unit at Royal Papworth Hospital, in Cambridge, Britain. Reuters

It always happens and in every part of the world. People who serve quietly, serve diligently and serve efficiently are invariably neglected by the authorities. In my opinion, there are two reasons for that. First, they who serve diligently rarely get the time to lobby for their personal growth. Secondly, most committed workers are naturally disinclined to demand recognition. They want it to come automatically. And that stands to reason.

But morally retarded politicians think differently, which is wrong and unfortunate. They invariably respond to lobbyists and sycophantic petitioners.

Therefore, one can fully appreciate the anger of nurses, battling COVID-19, with regard to pay hike.

The latest on the long list of angry frontliners is the New Zealand-born British nurse Jenny McGee.

McGee, credited with helping to save Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s life last year, has quit the UK health service in protest at the government’s lack of “respect” for frontline staff. McGee was one of two intensive-care nurses who gave Johnson round-the-clock treatment a year ago in a central London hospital when he was struck down with COVID-19.

The prime minister said later that he only pulled through, thanks to their care, but his government has since faced fury from nurses for offering a pay rise of just one per cent — effectively a cut, after inflation. “We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve. I’m just sick of it. So I’ve handed in my resignation,” McGee said in a Channel 4 television documentary. Keir Starmer, leader of the main opposition Labour party, said McGee’s resignation was a “devastating indictment of Boris Johnson’s approach to the people who put their lives on the line for him and our whole country.”

But a Downing Street spokesperson said “this government will do everything in our power to support” staff of the National Health Service (NHS), stressing they had been excluded from a pay freeze affecting other public sector workers. In the documentary, McGee said it was “surreal” seeing the prime minister in her hospital. “All around him there were lots and lots of sick patients, some of whom were dying,” she recalled. “I remember seeing him and thinking he looked very, very unwell. He was a different colour really. They were very complicated patients to look after and we just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

A worse wave of the pandemic hit Britain in the winter months, and McGee said the situation on her wards leading up to Christmas “was just a cesspool of Covid.”

“At that point, I don’t know how to describe the horrendousness of what we were going through,” she said.

McGee said she plans to take up a new nursing job in the Caribbean, but hopes to return to the NHS in the future.

Nurses, who have been doing a fantastic job in India, rightly came out on the streets to say only praise wasn’t enough. The laudatory gesture was wonderful, they said, but the government had to respond in concrete terms. In other words, give them a pay raise. They had their lives to run and they too had families to look after, they argued. And that is a responsibility that could only be answered with money.

A few governments have responded to the legitimate demands of the frontliners. But a lot more has to be done for the people who have been fighting COVID for more than a year.

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