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UK health workers and airlines on Monday warned that the oil crisis threatens to disrupt vital services by the industry as they seek access to more oil and diesel products following a panic-stricken purchase.
The magnitude of the crisis, when 8,000 UK oil refineries were pumped into the country, prompted the government to put groups in place to help with the supply.
The British Medical Association says that car-dependent medical workers are at risk of losing their jobs, while taxi and transport companies have said a severe shortage of fuel is causing serious disruption.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the governing body of the British Medical Association, said health workers needed access to fuel “whether they go to hospitals, other events, or ambulances to reach people in need of immediate medical attention”.
He added that “when the pumps are dry there is a risk that NHS staff will not be able to carry out their duties… Health workers and key staff should be given access to fuel”.
Christina McAnea, secretary-general of Unison, the largest coalition in the UK, has called on the government to use “emergency power to select fuel-only facilities” including medical personnel, teachers and police officers.
David Brown, chairman of the National Courier and Despatch Association, a trade union, said fund companies were banning jobs and telling workers to stay home because they were unaware of fuel.
“It’s been tough,” he added. It has been frustrating for people who earn money from driving. ”
Liam Griffin, chief executive of Addison Lee, who drives 4,000 vehicles in central London to transport passengers by taxi, said they are facing increasing “challenges”.
“Like anyone working in our factories, these challenges will be even more important without immediate action to address the oil crisis,” he added.
Industry retailers representing London’s black cabs and private cars have called on the government to issue an emergency permit to select only “consumer” fuel depots.
The government is under a lot of pressure hold on on the crisis, which began with a temporary disruption of fuel prices resulting from a shortage of freight forwarders, before they panicked into buying a car as soon as the goods were quickly disposed of.
At the weekend the government Excluded from competition rules allowing power companies to work on the resumption of fuel, and releasing visa restrictions on foreign HGV drivers.
Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, a commercial organization, said members said that between 50 and 90% of autonomous sites had no fuel, while those that were quickly replenished were long lines of vehicles.
“We still see fear buying faster than it can ship,” he added.
Madderson said cities and other residential areas in England were the worst affected.
Government-affiliated government-linked voices have expressed hope that things will improve this week.
“With more vehicles now having more fuel than ever before, we expect the demand to return to its original level in the coming days,” said a statement from companies including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other oil retailers.
But a retailer in some companies said that until the reduction in HGV drivers was over there was a risk of continuing to buy fuel from motorists.
An oil rehabilitation consultant said that unlike the 2000 oil rally, when the distribution of fuel for motorists soon after they stopped, there was another problem in the labor market at the time.
“But this can be a long-drawn-out process than usual, depending on how real the lack of a driver is,” he added.
Ministers met on Monday to review recent developments on petrol and see if the government should take action.
A government spokesman said there was no shortage of oil in the country, adding that he would continue to work “with companies”.
Two Whitehall officials confirmed that the military was vigilant, while 150 officers were ready to help distribute oil during an emergency operation called Operation Escalin.
Additional reports by Daniel Thomas, Laura Hughes and Sarah Neville