Recently, a nurse employed by the UK National Health Service posted a picture of her payslip, showing the whole world the ills of the country’s healthcare system.
In the UK, the healthcare system has this government controlled entity called the NHS, National Health Service, and people who get the services provided by them, “free at the point of use for people ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom,” are being treated by nurses who don’t have enough financial incentive for the job.
An Irish nurse named Joanna Hickey posted the image of her payslip on Twitter, and apparently it resonated with a whole lot of people because it went viral and inspired headlines. It shows what a “near top of the scale” nurse is able to make in 2 weeks.
A friendly reminder of what an ICU (BSc RGN/ PgD ICU/ PgD CCU) nurse's near top of the scale wages looks like for 2 weeks. And if I work weekends and nights away from my child & partner I might make an extra €100. #nursesstrike #Nurses @INMO_IRL pic.twitter.com/gxDGOjcKYx
— Jojo (@misspollyanna) January 9, 2019
Her Twitter post was equipped with the caption: “A friendly reminder of what an ICU (BSc RGN/ PgD ICU/ PgD CCU) nurse’s near top of the scale wages looks like for 2 weeks. And if I work weekends and nights away from my child & partner I might make an extra €100. #nursesstrike”
According to the payslip, the net pay for two weeks, referred to as a fortnight in the UK was €1,120.80 ($1,285). So of course a lot of people who don’t know much about the profession are finding it shocking, a “far cry from the wild salaries we hear about.”
The nurse who made the Tweet gave an update, adding: “And if I work weekends and nights away from my child & partner I might make an extra €100 (£89.24). [sic]”
“I take 3 hours parental leave a week as working “39” hours (more like 45hrs/wk with hand over & patient complexity) was proving too much as a mother. [sic]
I now do “36” hrs a week… I start at 07:45am and usually get out at 20:45pm. So no personal time off for free… [sic], she continued.”
Protests are happening in the UK, with a strike planned for the end of the month that is thought to see 40,000 nurses and midwives going on strike for 24 hours. That will take place on Wednesday, January 30.
In specific, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization is fighting with the government over how much they get paid, and INMO is planning the strike.
The thing is, healthcare seems to go terribly wrong and corrupt no matter what way it is set up. It probably has to do with how inherently difficult it is for the people to influence things on this level, which makes a protest like this a very righteous thing to see.
Salaries are low because this is a government provided service, funded by involuntarily collected taxes, and nobody has incentive. The government has no incentive to pay a fair amount to their nurses and workers because there is no consequence for that government if they don’t treat them well.
On the other hand, although every nurse should of course try their best, it’s not fair to pay them such a low amount and they realistically aren’t going to have that much incentive to do a good job and treat the people suffering from medical problems well for this pay.
America has it very bad with healthcare too, as the world knows. It wasn’t good before Obamacare, it was terrible during it, and it’s terrible now however it works, speaking as a proud American that will honestly admit the problems at hand.
The thing is, in America Obamacare was arguably representative of the interests of behemoth insurance companies, so really it was more like corporate healthcare, and it was terrible. Governments will manipulate the poor and those in need of medical care, corporations will manipulate those people, on this Earth if people are susceptible, some predator will take advantage of them.
It’s really inspiring to see these people try to do something, and hopefully they will aim high and get to the root of the issues, whatever they feel those roots are.