UK flagship public health body UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is in turmoil. Therefore, the agency is planning to cut down around 40% of the 2,000 staff members.
Boris Johnson set up USHSA to combat the pandemic is in disarray. According to a report by Guardian, there are no funds available to with the agency to cope up any resurgence of pandemic. Moreover, the health experts are warning the government that monetary and jobs cuts may cost lives.
The sources reported that the agency is planning to axe its 800 out of 2,000 workers. The workers are working in vital health protection teams. Moreover, it is reported that the UKHSA has already given two week notice to the employees. They have informed the employees that their contract will be ended earlier than the actual contract end date. In addition, the agency has also informed some other teams that they also need to cut their full-time workforce by 40%. UKHSA is also proposing the suspension of all regular asymptomatic testing in hospitals by May.
Experts are advising against the move
Health experts have criticized the move as figures reveal Covid-19 hospitalization numbers remain high. Currently, there are around 15,000 COVID-19 patients in hospitals. In April 2020, there were 20,000 patients in the hospitals and the difference between then and now is not very stark. Experts are fearing the suspension of critical services and reduction of workforce may pose a risk to the health system.
“If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it is the importance of having a properly funded public health system that is able to prepare for, and respond to, threats to our health. Government has consistently underfunded public health services which are there to protect and improve health for all. To not only fail to bolster the public health system, but to continue to cut it so deeply, is irresponsible and threatens the health of all in society, particularly the most vulnerable.” Prof Maggie Rae, president of the Faculty of Public Health said in his statement.
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