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British Hospitals Facing 'Humanitarian Crisis'

  • VOA News

FILE - An Emergency Ambulance drives through a snow storm in Ealing, London.

The British Red Cross says demands on the country's overcrowded hospitals and ambulances have become a "humanitarian crisis," especially as hospitals are experiencing the extra strain of the winter months.

A report in The Guardian newspaper says three patients have died recently after long waits in hospital corridors, including a woman who died of heart attack after waiting 35 hours on trolley in corridor at busy Worcestershire Royal hospital.

The Red Cross says it has sent its volunteers to the nation's hospitals to help patients leave so hospital beds can be freed up for other patients.

Mike Adamson, the British Red Cross chief executive, said his group has also asked Land Rover to provide vehicles to help transport patients.

Dr. Mike Holland, the president of the Society for Acute Medicine, told The Guardian that Britain has been asking the National Health Service, which manages universal free care for all Britons, "to provide a world-class service, but with third world levels of staffing and third world levels of beds."

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