No-one should have to choose between paying rent and self-isolating, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Friday 26 March 2021

Responding to Government’s plans to financially strengthen its package of localised support for people who have to self-isolate1 Dr David Wrigley, BMA council deputy chair and BMA wellbeing lead, said:

“Doctors are acutely aware of just how huge the financial hit has been for many people, on low incomes, who’ve had to self-isolate. The harsh reality is that income losses due to self-isolation has pushed many families into poverty and this is simply unacceptable in a country of such means. Just this week, the BMA issued a new report ‘Mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on health inequalities’2, which found a need for more sufficient financial resources via clear and accessible schemes to support those asked to self-isolate, and as such this latest announcement is very welcome news.

“As England looks to exit its third, and hopefully last, lockdown we know that the Test and Trace programme will prove vital in containing any future outbreaks. It’s imperative that people are not having to choose between self-isolating or paying for rent, essential utilities and food. No one should have to make this decision and feel as though it is worth ‘risking it’, therefore significantly increasing the chances of otherwise preventable transmission.

“While we’re aware that Government provisions have been made available since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s clear that more needs to be done so we hope this new injection of cash will allow local authorities to ensure that no one is disadvantaged by doing the right thing and self-isolating when asked.”

Ends

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.

​1. For more information on the new support package see here

2. BMA paper: Mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on health inequalities.