Lack of armed forces doctors threaten military actions

Shortages
of armed forces doctors threaten the viability of military operations and have
not been fully addressed by the latest pay rise for defence medical staff,
according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

The
Government has accepted a 3.225 per cent pay rise for defence medical service
staff recommended by the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body, but the BMA said it was
disappointed that the review body had not addressed the pay differences that
exist between NHS and armed forces’ doctors.

The
BMA said medical defence forces were seriously below strength, with less than
half the number of trained doctors it needs.

Shortages
of accident and emergency surgeons, anaesthetists and burns specialists are
particularly severe, it said.

"Recruitment
and retention problems in the defence medical services continue to threaten the
viability of military operations, so it is important that pay levels between
NHS and armed forces doctors are comparable," said Dr John Ferguson,
chairman of the BMA’s Armed Forces Committee.

By Michael Millar

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