Junior doctors’ pay cut means they’ll be paid less than a McDonald’s manager

They could be earning as little as £16,000


Junior doctors are set to receive a huge pay cut – which could put them in the same wage bracket as a McDonald’s manager.

The 7-day NHS proposal could mean junior doctors receive a staggering wage cut of up to 30 per cent as the times for their normal working hours may be extended in a new contract.

With this drop in pay junior doctors on their first year can expect to bring in just over £16,000 – which is the same as a manager at Greggs or McDonald’s.

The government-suggested new contract will extend normal working hours to 7am-10pm on Monday to Saturday, meaning bonuses for unsociable hours will be lost.

If they go ahead, contracted cuts will take place from August 2016 and will depend on the position of the doctor – for example a GP, how much training they have done and the time they work – which is typically always above the standard 40 hour week.

The amount a trainee doctor is paid varies hugely, depending on their experience and the variety of unsociable hours worked.

Currently a junior doctor can expect to start on around £22,000 – but this will drop sharply under the proposed contract.

Third year Rachel Owusu-Ankomah who is training to be a surgeon told The Tab: “I think it’s really disappointing.

“One of my friend’s put it very eloquently, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – can you not afford to pay my wage or am I not worth my wage?

“I spent nine years at university accruing debt and I absolutely love my job – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“But that’s not seeming to be appreciated by the government.

“My best friend used to work at Greggs and said she’d be better going back than in her current situation.”

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Rachel has been training to be a doctor for nine years and is ‘disappointed’ by the cuts

The 30-year-old St George’s medical graduate believes the new contract would deter young people and current medical students from continuing their training.

Rachel added: “If I’d gone and done a three year law year with an extra two I could be a barrister earning more money, or if I got a job in the City.

“I chose to do a caring profession because I’m not actually in it for the money and genuinely enjoy my job.

“We get paid more than average, but I work a 48 hour week – 10 more than most people.

“We’re struggling to recruit people in specialities like A&E, and because they have the most unsociable hours they’ll also have the biggest pay cut.

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The proposed new contract would mean junior doctors earn the same as McDonald’s or Greggs managers

Responding to reports that the government will seek to impose a new contract on junior doctors, Dr Andrew Collier, co-chair of the BMA junior doctor committee, said: “The BMA wants to deliver a contract that protects patient safety and is fair to both junior doctors and the health service as a whole.

However we can only do this if the UK government and others are prepared to work collaboratively in a genuine negotiation.

“We listened to the vast majority of junior doctors who told us that the DDRB proposals are not acceptable.

“We remain committed to agreeing contract that protects against junior doctors routinely working long hours, delivers a fair system of pay, values the vital role of training and does not disadvantage those in flexible working.

“We have not received adequate assurance from the government that they are committed to achieving these goals.

“We urge the government not to impose a contract that is unsafe and unfair. We will resist a contract that is bad for patients, bad for junior doctors and bad for the NHS.”

Danny Mortimer, NHS Employers said: “I have written to all junior doctors to invite them to our roadshows so we can engage directly with each other to discuss a new contract.

“We want to listen to their concerns, understand their views on the many choices still be made and discuss how the new contract may work.”