An ambulance is parked outside St Thomas’ Hospital in LondonInternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hospital consultants in the United Kingdom have offered to call off their strikes if they receive a 12% pay raise this year — double the increase that ministers had offered, according to media reports.The consultants committee of the British Medical Association (BMA) has sent a letter to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in which it made clear that the 33,915 consultants it represents would stop their strike should they get a raise in wages of some 12% for 2023-2024, the report said. «We are … seeking a pay package for 2023-24 above the level of RPI [Retail Price Index] inflation for the 12 months until April 2023 that ensures our pay is not eroded,» the newspaper quoted committee chair Vishal Sharma as saying in the letter, adding that RPI inflation averaged 11.4% in the said period. Sharma recalled that the Scottish government agreed with junior doctors in August to increase their wages by 12.4% to end the dispute in the UK. «This is not dissimilar to the settlement in Scotland for junior doctors, which demonstrates that this is deliverable,» Sharma said. UK Secretary of State for Health Steve Barclay said in July that the decision to give doctors a 6% raise was final and urged them to end their «heartless» strikes. The BMA had earlier turned down the government’s proposal for a 6% pay rise for doctors, calling it «insulting.» The organization demands that doctors’ salaries be increased further bringing junior doctors’ pay back to 2008 levels, given that inflation has undermined its growth since then. EconomyMore Brits Over 70 Continue to Work Amid Cost-of-Living Crisis2 May, 14:55 GMTThe UK healthcare system has been suffering from an acute shortage of healthcare professionals for many months. More and more people have been leaving their medical professions due to excessive workload, rising prices and lack of opportunities to improve their qualifications. The situation has further been aggravated by strikes. As of the end of July 2023, the list of Britons waiting for medical treatment reached 7.6 million people, according to the UK Health Ministry.