Medical leaders have warned that a pay deal giving some doctors a 3 per cent wage rise makes “little impact” on the ongoing challenges facing the profession in Scotland.
The Scottish Government announced yesterday that salaried doctors and dentists earning less than £80,000 a year will receive the rise in 2018-19 which is backdated to 1 April 2018.
Independent contractor GPs will also receive a 3 per cent rise, compared to the 2 per cent deal south of the border.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman insisted staff are getting “fair pay increases”.
She said: “Scotland’s health service is founded on the incredible contribution of its staff and this agreement recognises the role played by our doctors and dentists.
“This pay increase will be backdated to 1 April – something that is not happening in England.
“It follows our minimum 9 per cent rise for NHS Agenda for Change employees over the next three years – which will give those 147,000 employees the best pay conditions in the UK.
“By offering fair pay increases we can help to support recruitment and retention of staff.”
But any increase in pay for salaried doctors and dentists earning more than £80,000 will be capped at £1,600 – something BMA Scotland chair Peter Bennie branded “extremely disappointing”.
He said: “This announcement comes amid significant shortages of doctors across our health system due to huge challenges of recruitment and retention and years of below inflation pay rises which have meant real terms reductions in pay rates of around 20 per cent over the last 10 years across the profession.
“Today’s announcement makes very little impact on that long term trend.
“We recognise the Scottish Government has not mirrored the completely unacceptable decisions made by the Westminster Government on doctors’ pay in England, particularly by rightly applying the award across the whole financial year.”
Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary, said: “Competitive salaries are only part of the reason people work in our NHS and with morale at rock bottom, it is clear some staff are being driven out due to SNP mismanagement.”