Backing the #LiveableNHSBursary campaign, Khadija Meghrawi, co-chair of the BMA medical students committee, said:
"It is deeply worrying that students are facing financial hardship because the support they are given during their degree is not enough to pay for their basic needs. This is a failure from the Government to provide enough funding. For years, we’ve heard instances of our fellow students using food banks, overburdened by debt and exhausted by working long hours alongside studying for a medicine degree full-time. No student should have to choose between completing their degree and making ends meet.
"The funding provided by the NHS bursary is unacceptably low and there must be a review of current funding mechanisms. Those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds cannot rely on generous friends or family, and must instead sacrifice their education and health to work long hours.
“We are a nation in desperate need of more doctors and to grow a medical workforce that is both fit for the future and is reflective of the population that it works to treat, the Government must provide adequate financial support to medical students.
“Far from incentivising students to become doctors, insufficient financial support for students can only be expected to dissuade less well-off students from applying. This would be a disaster for efforts to grow the medical workforce and widen access to the profession from traditionally underrepresented groups.
“The BMA is currently surveying all medical students to gain a clearer picture of the financial stresses we face and will publish the results in due course."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union 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.