Three junior doctors would make just £66.55 for taking out appendix, says BMA

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Three junior doctors would make just £66.55 between them for taking out your appendix, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said.

The BMA has highlighted the low pay as part of a new advertising campaign in support of the pay dispute by junior doctors in England.

Three doctors with 10, seven and one year of experience would make just £28, £24.46, and £14.09 respectively by performing the potentially life-saving procedure, the trade union for doctors said in a press release.

Dr Jennifer Barclay, a surgical doctor in the North West, said: “There is nothing ‘junior’ about the work I have done as a doctor.

“I’ll be trying to focus on steady, controlled hand movements, thinking about the next steps and communicating with the rest of the team.

“Meanwhile, my bleep is going off incessantly in the background with more and more patients waiting to be seen as soon as I get out of theatre. For that hour of work that might save a life I can be paid £19.”

She added: “Surely, this life, the training, responsibility, debt and crushing workload is worth more than £19 per hour? I’ll be on the picket line this week because doctors believe that it is.”

Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, BMA junior doctors committee co-chairs, said: “It is appalling that this Government feels that paying three junior doctors as little as £66.55 between them for work of this value, is justified.

“This is highly skilled work requiring years of study and intensive training in a high-pressure environment where the job can be a matter of life and death.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “This campaign is misleading as it does not take account of the additional earning capacity and pay progression available to junior doctors.

“The most experienced junior doctors now have a higher pay band – meaning they received a cumulative increase of 24% over four years. We’ve also increased rates of pay for night shifts and created a permanent £1,000 allowance a year for junior doctors who work less than full time, on top of their usual pay.

“The BMA’s demand for a 35% pay rise is unreasonable and unaffordable. We urge them to come to the table with a realistic approach so we can find a way forward, as we have done with other health unions, which balances fairly rewarding junior doctors for their hard work with meeting the government’s ambition halve inflation.”

The BMA will begin four days of strike action on Tuesday.

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