BMA says pay rise for military doctors is not enough

The announcement of a 3.2% pay increase for Armed Forces doctors by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body will fail to address a recruitment and retention crisis, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Many doctors working in the armed forces would be “bitterly disappointed at this missed opportunity to correct the disparity between pay for armed forces doctors and their civilian counterparts”, the BMA said.

The pay award for armed forces doctors meant they had fallen behind the significantly improved earnings available to GPs and consultants under the new NHS contracts, the doctors body said.

However, the BMA said it was difficult to pinpoint the exact differences due to varying pay among GPs and consultants.

The BMA’s survey of more than 200 doctors covering all three military services showed that:

  • almost half (48%) are working more than 50 hours per week

  • more than half (54%) had been unable to take their annual leave entitlement

  • almost one in 10 (9%) doctors had spent more than 100 days on deployment in the last year

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