Hospital Dr News

BMA calls on government to give doctors a 2% pay rise for 2018-2019

Doctors deserve a 2% pay rise for 2018-19.

That’s the conclusion of the BMA in its annual submission to the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Pay.

The BMA called for a pay increase in line with inflation as represented by the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus £800, or 2% (whichever was greater).

The submission says: “Year after year of below inflation increases have equated to significant real terms cuts in doctors’ pay and the decrease in the value of sterling in the aftermath of the UK’s referendum decision to leave the European Union has increased these inflationary pressures, accelerating the decline in doctors’ living standards.”

Since 2008, the BMA said GPs had seen a 20% fall in real income, consultant income had dropped by 19% and junior doctor’s cut by 21%.

The decline in doctors’ pay had damaged the morale of frontline NHS staff and recruitment to medicine, claimed the BMA, at a time when understaffed and under-resourced hospitals and primary care services were having to manage unprecedented levels of patient demand.

Further financial changes, such as increased cost of training, rise in indemnity fees, tax on pensions and increased pensions contributions had also all damaged doctors’ remuneration.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “Delivering a world-class health service requires a workforce that feels motivated and supported to provide the best possible care for patients.

“However, all doctors have seen a significant fall in real terms pay since 2008. While the BMA understands the economic constraints facing the health service, years of real terms cuts to frontline staff pay undermines the excellent work from hardworking doctors and leaves them feeling demoralised and undervalued.

“Doctors should be treated in line with the wider economy where pay settlements run at 60% higher than the current public-sector policy cap.

“Out of the 10 pay review body occupations, doctors have seen the biggest fall in real earnings. Because of this, we are also asking the DDRB to find a way to close the gap that has emerged in doctors’ pay over the long-term. Failure to do so will only exacerbate current recruitment and retention issues facing the profession.”

The Government awarded a pay rise of 1% for 2017/2018 in England. NHS pay was frozen in 2012 and 2013, and since 2014 rises have been limited to 1%.

See the pay scales.

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