The BMA says the pay awards announced last week by the Scottish health secretary are “extremely disappointing” and will do little to tackle serious issues of recruitment and retention.
The new package will provide a 3 per cent pay increase for salaried doctors earning below £80,000 per year, applied for the current financial year and backdated to 1 April 2018. Salaried doctors earning more than £80,000 (full-time equivalent) will have their pay rise capped at £1,600, and independent GP contractors will receive a 3 per cent increase in earnings.
However, the BMA Scotland council chair Peter Bennie said the increase would make little impact on the long-term trend that has seen real-term reductions in pay rates of about 20 per cent across the profession over the last decade.
Dr Bennie welcomed the decision to apply the pay increases to the whole financial year and backdate to April. The Government has said the pay awards will see consultants in Scotland earning up to £1,175 more than their counterparts in England. Specialty doctors will earn up to £1,105 more than their peers in England and junior doctors will receive up to £534 more. The 3 per cent increase for GPs in Scotland compares to an increase of 2 per cent in England.
“However,” he said, “it is extremely disappointing and a cause of serious concern that consultants, who lead the frontline delivery of medical care in hospitals, have been singled out for a significantly lower pay award. Indeed, apart from junior doctors, all sections of the profession have effectively received an award below the independent recommendations of the pay review body, which is simply not good enough.”