Letters

BMA asks for 53% pay increase

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7073.77 (Published 04 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:77

Morality of such claims is doubtful in light of growing disparity in society

  1. A E A Joseph, Consultant radiologista
  1. a St George's Hospital, London SW17 0QT
  2. b 155 Leathers Lane, Halewood, Liverpool L26 1XG
  3. c BMA, London WC1H 9JP

    Editor—In giving evidence to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body the BMA stated that fair comparisons with people in comparable positions should be the most important factor in setting pay levels.1 There are a few drawbacks with this approach. Firstly, how does one define comparable professions or those in similar walks of life? Secondly, is it unanimously agreed that we want to be compared with all groups that are often quoted for this purpose, such as actuaries, accountants, and barristers—especially the last mentioned? Thirdly, there is an inherent assumption in this argument that these groups themselves receive justifiable levels of remuneration. I have reservations about whether society at large would accept as justifiable the earnings of some barristers and other high earners.

    It must be remembered that the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body makes recommendations on behalf of society—the British public. The question is therefore, will society accept it? Or for the business minded the question is, can Britain bear the cost? What do you call a doctor who does not listen to his or her patient?

    This does not mean that I disagree with the chairman of the BMA's council when he states that doctors are undervalued and that …

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