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JUNIOR doctors are to be asked if they are prepared to take industrial action over ministers’ refusal to include them in the 3 per cent NHS pay rise, the British Medical Association (BMA) announced today.
The BMA said that the rise was not enough for any section of the NHS staff, but that it would survey the tens of thousands of junior medics in England after they were told to make do with a 2 per cent rise agreed before the pandemic.
The union’s junior doctors’ committee told the government that its failure to recognise their efforts during the pandemic had “devalued the enormous contribution they have made.”
The unprecedented demands of the pandemic had taken a serious toll on the mental and physical health of junior doctors, the BMA said, adding that the real value of their pay has been slashed by 23 per cent since 2008-9.
Dr Sarah Hallett, who chairs the junior doctors’ committee, described their exclusion from the 3 per cent offer as “nothing short of insulting.
“Three per cent is not an adequate uplift for any of our vital NHS staff, but in refusing to award the additional 1 per cent to junior doctors in England … ministers have effectively devalued their enormous and lifesaving contributions over the last 18 months,” she said.
“The last 18 months have been among the most challenging for junior doctors in recent history, and they have worked tirelessly to treat patients and protect the nation against this deadly virus, at times even placing their own lives at risk.
“Understandably, many doctors will be angry and feel deflated that the government has chosen not to recognise their efforts with a fair reward.”
The Department of Health and Social Care was asked to comment.
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