United Kingdom: The public hospital on the brink of collapse

England's public hospital is on the brink of collapse and one figure bears witness to this: in 2022, at least 112 deaths and 8,000 injuries were due to ever-longer delays in treatment. These figures are rising sharply and could get even worse: Rishi Sunak's Conservative government has imposed the objective of achieving financial equilibrium for the national health system, the NHS, which has been affected for years by a serious crisis due to a lack of resources.

A large number of professions in the health sector demonstrated and went on strike to denounce very degraded conditions. Here, doctors protest with a dog outside University College Hospital, London on August 14, 2023, announcing a new four-day strike in the sector. © Frank Augstein/AP

By: RFI Follow


Read More

With our correspondent in London, Marie Boëda

A patient dies of a heart attack, the ambulance took 18 minutes to arrive and the emergency services did not see him alive: normally, the patient should be taken care of in 7 minutes. Another alarming statistic is that more than 10,000 people are waiting 18 months for treatment. Among the most affected departments are psychiatry and obstetrics.


It's a disaster ", laments a patient association, and these examples come from a database filled in by hospital staff. As a result, morale is at an all-time low, caregivers say, and sick leave is on the rise, and this with the arrival of winter, when needs are increasing.

Waiting lists have grown after a rampage of strikes last year: nurses, paramedics. Public health services have never seen such an outcry, and these mobilizations could resume.

Rishi Sunak's Conservative government refuses to provide financial aid to make up for staff absences and it even imposes a target for the end of the year: to achieve financial balance.

Read alsoUnited Kingdom: the country's health system, the NHS, celebrates its 75th anniversary against the backdrop of the hospital crisis

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Most read



Ukraine: Massive drone attack on Kyiv and its region



Guinea: Claude Pivi, the mystical soldier turned public enemy number one



Hamas releases 17 hostages, Israel releases 39 Palestinian prisoners on second day of truce