Outrage over NHS job ad for a brain cancer surgeon that pays as little as £33,000 a year
- The role advertised by Barts Health NHS Trust is based in east London
- Medics working as at that ranking already have over 10 years experience
A viral job ad for a brain cancer surgeon post in London has sparked fury among Brits after it was found to pay as little as £33,000 a year.
In the advert, listed on May 31, Barts Health NHS Trust advertised for a neuro-oncology fellowship, accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons.
But the fellowship, which specialises in the management and treatment of brain and spinal cord tumours, was listed for just £33,790 to £53,132.
The 12-month fixed term contract, based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London however is applicable only to those ranked CCT/ST8.
As an ST8 – specialty trainee year eight – medics have already completed a decade working as a junior doctor following their five year medical degree.
On TikTok, newly qualified medic @Saifs.Space, who will begin as a foundation year one doctor in London shortly, said: ‘This is the person that operates on you or your family member’s brain tumours when you’re so unwell and this is highly skilled and highly specialised work’
In a Twitter post attracting 9.1million views and over 1,000 retweets, one user wrote ‘the UK needs a hard reset’. ‘Speechless. I hope no-one applies’, responded another user. ‘UK is one of the least attractive countries to work as a doctor’ and I’d like to say I’m shocked. I’m afraid I’m not,’ were among other responses
Upon graduation, all medical graduates must complete a two-year general training programme before embarking on specialty training, which can take up to eight years.
As a CCT/ST8, candidates will have also completed consultancy exams or are about to complete them.
Among the post’s responsibilities include working on-call at the Royal London Hospital, supervising a ST3 trainee – specialty trainee year three – out of hours and attending a weekly multidisciplinary Neuro-oncology Clinic held at St Bartholemew’s Hospital.
The fellow is also expected to ‘regularly review pre- and post-operative neuro-oncology patients’.
Read more: Inside the Great Australian exodus crippling our NHS: Record numbers of disgruntled doctors and nurses are looking to desert the ailing health service for £100k jobs down under – and Dubai could be next
Taking to social media, Brits took to their droves to share their outrage at the low salary.
In a Twitter post attracting 9.1million views and over 1,000 retweets, one user wrote ‘the UK needs a hard reset’.
‘Speechless. I hope no-one applies’, responded another user.
‘UK is one of the least attractive countries to work as a doctor’ and I’d like to say I’m shocked. I’m afraid I’m not,’ were among other responses.
On TikTok, newly qualified medic @Saifs.Space, who will begin as a foundation year one doctor in London shortly, said: ‘This is the person that operates on you or your family member’s brain tumours when you’re so unwell and this is highly skilled and highly specialised work.’
In the video watched over 291,000 times, he added: ‘This is just so shameful. This is what we feel our healthcare professionals are worth in the UK.
‘That’s just not it,’ he said.
Disgruntled NHS medics say the pandemic has shone a light on how poorly they are valued in the UK, a factor that helped launched a wave of strike action across the UK to boost their pay.
The British Medical Association (BMA), the organisation behind the action, says the workforce has suffered a 26 per cent real-terms cut to their pay since 2008/09.
Addressing this translates to a 35 per cent pay increase.
If ministers were to accept, some medics would see their salaries increase by up to £20,000.
The BMA’s co-chair Vivek Trivedi has suggested that the BMA are willing to negotiate a deal that would see this restoration completed over a number of years, rather than in one big jump.
However, ministers claim unions’ demands for double digit pay rises are simply unaffordable and would have to come at the expense of patient services.
There are very little signs of any compromise in the future and while the dispute continues NHS waiting lists continue to rise to record levels and more and more staff apply to leave the UK.
Responding to the TikTok, users expressed their outrage over the salary expectations. ‘I’m so sorry that is ridiculous – this country is a joke’, one responded. Another questioned: ‘Is it even worth me starting med school this September?’
The lowest paid junior doctors, in their first foundation year, earn an annual salary of £29,384.
This, the BMA argues, can equate to around £14.09 per hour. But this is dependent on them not working weekends or nights, or earning overtime.
The basic wage of the most senior junior doctor — ST6 to ST8, in their final years of speciality training — is capped at £58,398 per year.
As is common across many sectors, junior doctors earn more if they work overtime, overnight, or at the weekend.
Growing anger among medics over poor pay and working conditions has already seen record numbers of British doctors, nurses and midwives also try to move abroad — with Australia top of their list.
Almost 25,000 applications to get documents needed to secure a job overseas were made to UK healthcare regulators in 2022. The vast majority represent NHS workers.
Figures obtained by MailOnline reveal nearly 7,000 doctors applied for documents to support an application to work abroad from the British medical regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC), in 2022. This was up from 6,100 in 2019.
Separate figures for 2023, which only go up until May, suggest this year will see an even bigger exodus, with almost 3,500 applying for their documents so far.
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