Commenting on today’s announcement in relation to doctors pay, Dr Tom Black BMA Northern Ireland Council chair said, “We note that the DDRB has today recommended a pay uplift of 6%. In our evidence to the DDRB we highlighted the serious and sustained pressures doctors in Northern Ireland are facing. They have seen the same levels of pay erosion as doctors in the rest of the UK, but without some of the benefits of the same pension reforms.
“However the BMA in Northern Ireland is deeply concerned at the budget situation in Northern Ireland. We have been told that there is no funding for a pay uplift to be awarded. We have written to the Secretary of State and all of the local party leaders to clearly and categorically state that this situation is completely unacceptable.
“Regardless, this uplift is unlikely to address the deep discontent among doctors around pay erosion and working conditions and the lack of some simple mitigations like GP list closures that would address some of the stress doctors face. It certainly does not make them feel valued, and it will not stem the tide of doctors looking to retire or work elsewhere where there is better pay, and more value is placed on the vital role doctors have in society.
“We are about to survey junior doctors on their views on pay and we have agreed to meet with the Permanent Secretary for Health to outline what needs to be improved in terms of pay, rotas, their contract and their training experience. We have surveyed consultants and they have indicated they are deeply unhappy with the current position, and they are also due to meet with the Permanent Secretary.
“We will continue to seek an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State. We urge our local politicians to get back to work and engage with the BMA as soon as the assembly is restored to ensure funding is ringfenced so the uplift can be paid as soon as possible, but to also make a commitment to full pay restoration in Northern Ireland.”
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.