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“People cherish the NHS here, unlike in Australia” – says Australian NHS nurse

A nurse from Australia has shed light on what it’s like to work at a hospital in Glasgow, revealing why he would rather work for the NHS than move back to Sydney.  

Amid fears that medical professionals are leaving the crisis-hit NHS to work in other countries, with many finding Australia particularly attractive, 28-year-old Dean works as an NHS nurse in Glasgow, having moved to Scotland eight years ago.

He said that, although NHS services are near breaking point and staff are overworked and underpaid, there is one thing that sets the NHS apart from the health service in Australia – the way nursing and medical staff are treated by the public.

Dean said: “In Glasgow, people really value the work you do as a nurse. It’s lovely to see the way people appreciate health workers, and I think it’s something you don’t get in other countries. People really do cherish the NHS in this country - unlike in Australia.”

“It’s just a real shame that the Government don’t treat health and Emergency workers the same way. Taking pay out of the equation, expectations and demands on the service have increased, and the Government seems to have forgotten that we are humans as well.”

Dean made the comments when speaking as part of Optical Express’s ‘Thanks A Million’ campaign. The specialist eye care provider is giving away £1 million worth of free laser eye surgery to NHS and Emergency Service workers to thank them for their service to the public.

Dean described how the laser eye surgery had made life easier, especially when working long shifts at the hospital. Prior to the surgery, Dean says that wearing glasses and contact lenses were uncomfortable during long intense shifts, and on night shifts.

Dean added: “Wearing glasses or disposable contact lenses was always an uncomfortable burden. During long, 12 hour shifts and when I was on nights, I couldn’t wear contact lenses as they irritated my eyes. I never thought laser eye surgery would be possible due to having a stigmatism and I was amazed to find out it was.

“Since I had the surgery, it has made my working life much easier as I can see the boards and my colleagues down the corridor and night shifts will be much easier. It is amazing that a company like Optical Express has chosen to thank Emergency workers in this way, it really is life changing.”

David Moulsdale, Chairman and CEO of Optical Express, said: “Optical Express’s ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign allows us to improve the lives of so many hardworking people. We launched the campaign earlier this year because we are passionate about giving something back to those who protect the public and to acknowledge the sacrifices they made during the pandemic.

“People are rightly proud of our NHS and Emergency Services in this country and, as Dean says, we really do cherish the service they provide. We are delighted that we can contribute to giving them the thanks that they deserve.”

It is the second time that Optical Express has chosen to thank emergency service workers in this way, and in 2017 Optical Express gave away over £1 million worth of free laser eye surgery. Over the course of the two campaigns more than £2 million worth of surgery has been given to improve the lives of thousands of NHS and Emergency Service workers. Since Optical Express was founded 32 years ago, the team are proud to have supported hundreds of humanitarian and philanthropic projects, donating over £33 million and counting to worthwhile causes in the UK and abroad.