BMA Northern Ireland has urged the Minister of Health to make a timely decision on agreeing and implementing a pay uplift for doctors who have worked tirelessly at the coalface of the COVID-19 pandemic.


It comes as doctors in England, Scotland and Wales were today awarded 2.8% pay uplift by their governments for the 2020/21 financial year.


BMA’s Northern Ireland Council chair Dr Tom Black said: “The last four months of the COVID-19  pandemic will have been one of the most stressful periods of doctors working lives and yet they responded to it with commitment, hard work and innovation, willingly working long, unsociable hours away from their loved ones and putting their own wellbeing and lives at risk in the process.


“There have been significant delays to the pay award in Northern Ireland in recent years which has impacted morale and contributed to lack of pay parity, particularly during the months of delay, between doctors pay in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The 2019-20 pay award for HSC-employed doctors in Northern Ireland is due to be paid this month, around a year later than the rest of the UK.


“Doctors and other frontline health service workers will be called on again to work above and beyond for our health service during what will be the busiest winter period it might see yet. The very least the Department of Health can do is to recognise these efforts by implementing the 2020/21 pay uplift in a timely fashion.”