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BMA and BDA 'dismayed' at real-terms pay cut for uniformed doctors and dentists

In response to the pay award announced by the Government for doctors and dentists in the Armed Forces.

Responding to the pay award announced by the Government for doctors and dentists in the Armed Forces, which is 5% for 2023/24 and a £1,000 consolidated sum, BMA Armed Forces Committee Chair Colonel Mark Weir and BDA Armed Forces Committee Chair Surgeon Captain (D) (Retired) Mike Gall, said:

"Both the BMA and the BDA are dismayed by the headline announcement of a 5% pay award for the uniformed doctors and dentists, albeit with a consolidated further award of £1,000. Once again there has been universal failure from the review body to reflect the detailed recommendations made by the BMA and the BDA and the result is a pay cut in real terms during an extended inflationary period. Additionally, for the fourth year in succession, the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB) award recommendations have failed to match even the derisory Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) headline recommendations and the AFPRB has again missed the opportunity to address the growing and alarming gap between uniformed dentists and their civilian contemporaries. This group of doctors and dentists provides vital treatment to the armed forces both at home and when deployed overseas and the review body announcement will leave them questioning whether they wish to continue serving, with all its sacrifices, when there are so many opportunities to work outside of the MoD. Armed forces doctors and dentists will only be able to conclude that they are being penalised yet again for their military status.

"In addition, the BMA and the BDA note the AFPRB recommendation for an internal review of the current medical and dental officer (MODO) pay spine to assess whether the baseline in-year remuneration remains correctly set in a competitive employment market. Both organisations must be allowed to contribute in detail to the current review being undertaken by the HQ Defence Medical Services."