A nationwide public-sector strike scheduled for Wednesday, November 30th threatens to impact daily operations in the UK – most notably that of air travel and medical services.                

Air Travel

Many airlines are allowing rebooking and reducing flight schedules to ease the flow of people into UK airports Wednesday in an effort to reduce the number of incoming passengers.  Officials at Heathrow anticipate that they will need to potentially hold passengers on planes to manage the immigrations lines in the terminals.  Passengers from outside the EU may experience longer delays than those with EU passports, but all arriving passengers will be affected given that the border control is expected to be operating at 50% of normal staffing.   Outbound passengers may also be affected – if incoming passengers are not allowed to disembark, the aircraft and gates will not be available for departing flights, causing cancellations and possible gridlock.

Medical Care

Unions representing over 400,000 nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and support staff are expected to participate in the strike. Because the National Health Service (NHS) is not allowed to bring in outside help to cover staff on strike, thousands of operations and appointments are being canceled for Wednesday. Many hospitals will be operating emergency services only.

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About The Author

Laura Hilton serves as head of International Provider Network Development. Laura oversees all HTH international medical assistance operations and leads development of HTH’s international provider community and online databases from her office in London. Laura joined HTH in 2000 in the role of international provider recruitment and relations. She has extensive experience in emergency assistance operations and has developed medical evacuation plans for over 500 corporations. Fluent in five languages, she has traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the former Soviet Union to evaluate international medical facilities and design healthcare solutions for travelers and business expatriates. Laura is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A.

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