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England’s health service deteriorating: Official figures

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
NHS figures reveal slipping health service in England. (file photo)

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has released a new report shedding more light on the slipping standards of healthcare in England.

According to the NHS, the number of hospital operations canceled at the last minute due to a lack of staff or beds has increased to its highest level in 15 years.

Over 74,000 patients in England saw their treatment procedures being postponed for non-clinical reasons in 2015 and 2016.

The Royal College of Surgeons has described the statistics as disappointing and warned that the delays can affect patients’ health.

Experts warned that the data was another sign that standards are slipping as the health service comes under increasingly heavy pressure.

“These are not just statistics, these are people’s lives and delayed operations can impede a patient’s quality of life,” The Guardian quoted Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, as saying.

The figure does not include thousands of operations postponed because of the recent strikes by junior doctors.

Last month, junior doctors in the UK staged a walkout from both emergency and routine care.

Thousands of junior doctors walked off their jobs on April 26 over a contract dispute, marking the first all-out strike in the history of the NHS.

The two-day strike began upon a call by the British Medical Association (BMA), affecting almost all medical services, including accident and emergency, intensive care and maternity, all of which were disrupted for the first time over a long-running contract dispute.

Reports said back then that more than 125,000 appointments and operations were called off and had to be rearranged due to the strike.

The NHS has over the past years been struggling with deep spending cuts and hurting austerity measures.

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