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UK NHS on brink as govt. refuses to settle pay dispute with health workers

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

They'd warned the next one would be their biggest yet, and they've kept their promise: Tens of thousands of nurses from the Royal College of Nursing Union and ambulance crews on strike, this time together.

The chanting on the picket lines is not just about inflation-busting pay rises but about the depressing state of the national health service. ICU nurse Nieve has worked for the NHS for ten years and explains to us why she thinks the system is in crisis.

And that has meant tens of thousands of trained nurses either leaving the profession or working for the private sector in recent years.

They're calling out for the national health service to be kept alive. A service that's now on life support. And many medical professionals believe the deeper the crisis gets, the higher the likelihood of the private sector being foisted on them.

That's because while the NHS is at breaking point, private healthcare is flourishing creating worries about a two tier system: one for the rich who can pay their way and a sub-par NHS for everyone else.

If gestures of support by passing motorists is anything to go by, public support for the strikers is strong. It remains to be seen which side the British government will decide to be on.

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