MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Hundreds of thousands of the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) workers took part in a strike on Monday over pay, including the Royal College of Midwives which took action for the first time in history.
"Midwives are caring people who often work long hours of unpaid overtime just to keep our understaffed, under-resourced maternity services running in the midst of a decade-long baby boom. They deserve this modest 1 percent pay rise," chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Cathy Warwick told reporters Monday.
All non-urgent patient visits to doctors were postponed but all seriously ill patients received treatment as usual during the strike.
The four-hour strike, which was the first protest held by British healthcare workers in over 30 years, came after an expected one percent pay rise for NHS staff had been blocked.
According to the country's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the NHS could not afford to raise the salaries of its entire staff by one percent while at the same time meeting the cost of annual pay increments, which half of all NHS staff gets for extra duties and length of service.