The British Medical Association (BMA) has expressed anger at “below-average pay rises” for doctors, recommended by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) and accepted by the government.
Responding to the announcement that pay rises for NHS doctors will range from 3% to 3.225%, BMA chairman James Johnson warned that they could adversely affect NHS recruitment and retention, and the government’s ability to meet NHS targets.
He said the offer made to doctors compared badly to the current rise in average earnings of 4.5%.
“Average UK earnings are rising at a far higher rate than this and morale in the medical profession is already plummeting as a result of plans to water down NHS pensions,” Johnson said. “This is substantially below the increase that was needed to ensure that the NHS has enough doctors to meet the government’s waiting time targets.”
Pay for doctors in training will rise by 3%. Simon Eccles, chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said that by the time they start their first job it is common for junior doctors to owe more than £30,000.
“On top of this they are facing the prospect of their pensions being drastically cut,” he said. “Obviously, there is a temptation for many to abandon medicine in favour of more lucrative careers and a below-average pay rise can only encourage them.”