Armed forces doctors' and dentists' pay award 'absurd and unjust' say BMA and BDA in joint statement

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA and BDA

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 20 July 2022

Responding to the Government's acceptance of the recommendations of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) on pay for the Armed Forces for 2022-23, Col Mark Weir, British Medical Association armed forces committee chair, and Surgeon-Captain Mike Gall, British Dental Association armed forces committee chair, said:

“Armed forces doctors and dentists have once again been penalised for their military status.

“Following 2021’s pay pause, we expected a pay offer that would go some way to redress the disparity between the awards provided to doctors and dentists in uniform and their civilian counterparts in the NHS. While the 4.5% offered to many NHS doctors and dentists also falls well below current rates of inflation, the fact that we have once again been met with a separate, poorer pay award is absurd and unjust.

“The AFPRB’s recommendation for a 3.75% pay increase in the face of run-away inflation and over a decade of pay erosion is, once again, a recommendation for a real-terms pay cut. The government knows this to be true.

“Military doctors and dentists provide a vital service to this country. They have proved their worth throughout the pandemic, leading the acceleration of the national vaccination programme, playing a crucial part in the establishment of Nightingale hospitals, and providing support to civilian authorities, and continue to promote national security by providing treatment to the armed forces both at home and deployed overseas.

“This pay offer will do nothing to boost morale. It may well leave doctors and dentists questioning whether they wish to continue serving, with all its sacrifices, when there are so many opportunities to work as a doctor or dentist outside of the MoD in 2022.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

The BDA is the voice of dentists and dental students in the UK. They bring dentists together, support our members through advice and education, and represent their interests. As the trade union and professional body, they represent all fields of dentistry including general practice, community dental services, the armed forces, hospitals, academia, public health and research.