Why should doctors see their pay cut to help bail the Government out?, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA.

Location: UK
Last reviewed: 25 May 2022

Commenting on reports that a No 10 spokesperson has revealed that independent public sector pay review bodies should show restraint so as not to fuel inflation, Dr David Wrigley, BMA deputy chair of council, said:

“The words of the Prime Minister’s spokesperson will anger every doctor and every healthcare worker relying on pay review bodies to protect their pay. For the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to suggest that doctors and other public sector workers should see their pay cut in real terms to help bail the Government out of its mismanagement of inflation is utterly reprehensible.

“Doctors have seen huge real-terms pay cuts over the last decade, with many seeing their pay fall by 28%. These are the same doctors who have led the fight against the pandemic. These pay cuts, alongside punitive pension taxation rules, are key drivers behind doctors leaving the NHS, and right now we can ill-afford to lose any more of our clinicians with patients already seeing sky-high waiting times. We must retain these highly skilled doctors in the NHS and politicians need to act with urgency.

“With inflation rocketing skywards and thousands of doctors seeing the value of their wages plummeting in real terms, this Government is playing a dangerous game if it thinks it can tackle the record backlogs and waiting lists whilst cutting pay for the doctors it depends on to deliver that care.”

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.