Should doctors and nurses get more pay after coronavirus crisis?

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said the government should look at ways of rewarding health and care workers - b

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said the government should look at ways of rewarding health and care workers - but at present it had to look at dealing with the immediate crisis. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

The pay of NHS and care workers will have to be looked at by the government in a review of how the country coped with coronavirus, Suffolk MPs have said.

But that has to be an issue for the future with all current efforts focussed on battling the disease and making sure as few families as possible are devastated by the effects of the virus, they said.

Both Ipswich MP Tom Hunt and Waveney’s Peter Aldous said they had received many letters and emails from constituents calling for health and care workers to be recognised after their heroic efforts to combat the disease.

But they acknowledged it is not possible to do that right now, as the entire focus is on treating the seriously ill – and preventing coronavirus from spreading as much as possible.

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Mr Hunt said: “I know there is a widespread feeling out there that the work of the work of health and care workers should be recognised in some way, similar to when the armed forces are recognised after a military campaign.

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“Whether that is creating a sort of campaign medal or putting up monuments to mark their efforts to improving their pay, we shall have to see – but it is something for the future. We have to concentrate on fighting this pandemic at the moment.”

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Both MPs also warned that the economic position of this country and many others is likely to be uncertain for some time, as governments struggle to pay off the debt they have built up to prevent financial collapse during the pandemic.

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Mr Aldous said: “The position of health and care staff has been a key issue in letters and emails from constituents. It is clearly something that the government will have to look at – but that can’t happen now. All our focus has to be on dealing with the pandemic, making sure it doesn’t spread and maintaining the current lockdown.

“But when we do emerge from this, the position of health and care staff – particularly those on low pay – will have to be considered by the government.

“Having said that, we are aware that there will be many economic challenges ahead and the government will have to take them into consideration.”

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