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UK’s Health Services Totterin

Britain’s pay deals given by pay review bodies of the government will be giving out new salary rates to millions of public sector workers across the country//.

The announcements have created feelings, especially negative, in the medical sector.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced that GPs or family doctors will get a zero percent salary hike, as profits for them had soared to more than 50 percent after the government introduced a new contract last year.

BMA officials have called this a ‘black day’ for general practice, and threatened that many doctors may take the extreme step of leaving the NHS.

Says Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA's GP's committee, “This is a grievous insult to GPs. A zero increase equates to a pay cut. "For the second year running, not only will GPs get nothing to keep up with the cost of living, they will still have to meet all the annual increases of running their surgeries including paying their staff."

Another crisis that hit the NHS was the closure of three out of four of its Trusts due to financial difficulties. Patients have protested the restriction in their treatment.

The latest crisis is the joblessness and despair faced by thousands of young doctors. They had funded for their training under a recent scheme of the NHS(Modernising Medical Careers) and now find themselves in debt and with no job. Many are on the verge of extreme despair and some have even threatened suicide.

The doctors' anger has been heightened by the introduction of an online system for applying for jobs, which is criticized for failing to take full account of their experience and qualifications.

Dr Tom Dolphin, the deputy chairman of the BMA junior doctors' committee, says: "The system is going disastrously wrong. Highly qualified doctors with huge amounts of experience haven't been offered any interviews.

"Others have been offered interviews in the wrong sp ecialty or at the wrong level. There are reports that the confidential marking system has been leaked and that unqualified people are being asked to short-listing. People's entire livelihoods are at stake."

On all counts, it appears to be a very tough storm that the NHS is weathering.

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