UK asks 65,000 retired nurses and doctors to come back to work

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has asked 65,000 nurses and doctors who retired in the last three years to return and help tackle the “greatest global health threat” in a century.

Medical personnel with up-to-date skills and experience, including retirees, will be surveyed on what type of role they could do. Those who join the “NHS army” will be given a full induction and online training to help them to hit the ground running, said the NHS in a statement released Thursday.

“As the health service gears up to deal with the greatest global health threat in its history, my message to former colleagues is ‘Your NHS Needs You,’” said Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England.

Final-year medical students and student nurses are also being offered the chance to take temporary roles on full pay to boost frontline capacity even further, the agency said.

Similar measures are being implemented in other European countries as thousands of medical students are being fast-tracked into early service in an attempt to boost health systems across the continent that are struggling to cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

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