Monday, September 27, 2021
No fuel for the commute
British doctors worried about gasoline crisis
The shortage of truck drivers is causing enormous delivery bottlenecks in the UK. Many petrol stations in the country run out of fuel. Medical professionals urge the government to act. They fear that doctors and nurses will soon be unable to make it to the clinics due to a lack of fuel.
The country’s healthcare sector is sounding the alarm amid the ongoing fuel crisis in the UK. “Doctors and other health care workers cannot take care of patients if they do not come to work,” said Julia Grace Patterson, head of the EveryDoctor association, in which around 1,700 medical professionals have come together. You have heard from many colleagues who have tried unsuccessfully to refuel over the weekend, Patterson said in the morning. There was an urgent need for a government contingency plan to ensure that health workers could come to work.
There are currently bottlenecks in gasoline and diesel at numerous petrol stations in Great Britain, for days there have been hamster purchases and long queues. According to the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents around 5,500 independent petrol stations, two-thirds of the members are out of fuel. The demand is up to 500 percent higher, said association boss Brian Madderson the broadcaster BBC Radio 4. Madderson said 50 to 90 percent of the gas stations are empty, the others threatened to dry up soon.
The background to this is a huge shortage of truck drivers, which had previously led to empty supermarket shelves. Because of the corona pandemic, a number of driving lessons and tests have been postponed. In addition, around 20,000 skilled workers, mainly from Eastern Europe, emigrated because of the Brexit – but new, strict immigration rules are now preventing immigration.
To combat the problems, the government plans to issue work visas for up to 5,000 foreign truck drivers, among other things. In addition, tens of thousands of driving tests are to be made possible every year. In addition, working conditions are to be improved. As the newspaper “The Times” reported, soldiers are to step in as truck drivers at short notice. However, it could take a week before they are ready for use.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan meanwhile called for priority for people in systemically important professions at gas stations. Selected petrol stations should only be used by people who work in important industries and have to drive to work, said the Labor politician at the British Social Democratic Party conference in Brighton. “The government urgently needs to examine the steps necessary to initiate such measures,” said Khan.