A viral job posting for a brain cancer surgeon post in London has sparked anger among Britons after it was revealed that the latter paid just £33,000 a year.
In the ad, published May 31, Barts Health NHS Trust promoted a neuro-oncology fellowship accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons.
But the fellowship, which specializes in the management and treatment of brain and spinal cord tumours, was listed for just £33,790 to £53,132.
However, the 12-month fixed-term contract, based at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London, only applies to those at CCT/ST8 rank.
As ST8 – specialist trainee year eight – medics have already worked as trainee doctors for ten years after their five years of medical training.
On TikTok, newly qualified doctor @Saifs.Space, who will soon start as a doctor in basic year 1 in London, said: ‘This is the person who operates on your or your family member’s brain tumors when you are so unwell and this is very skilled and very specialized work’
In a Twitter post that attracted 9.1 million views and over 1,000 retweets, one user wrote ‘the UK needs a hard reset’. ‘Speechless. I hope no one signs up,” commented another user. ‘UK is one of the least attractive countries to work as a doctor’ and I would like to say I am shocked. I’m afraid not’, were among other reactions
After graduation, all medical graduates must complete a two-year general training program before entering specialized training, which can take up to eight years.
As a CCT/ST8, candidates have also taken or are about to complete consultancy exams.
Responsibilities of the position include working on call at the Royal London Hospital, supervising an ST3 trainee – year three specialist trainee – after hours and attending a weekly multidisciplinary neuro-oncology clinic at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
The fellow is also expected to ‘regularly review pre- and postoperative neuro-oncology patients’.
Britons took to social media en masse to share their outrage at the low salary.
In a Twitter post that attracted 9.1 million views and over 1,000 retweets, one user wrote ‘the UK needs a hard reset’.
‘Speechless. I hope no one signs up,” commented another user.
‘UK is one of the least attractive countries to work as a doctor’ and I would like to say I am shocked. I’m afraid not’, were among other reactions.
On TikTok, newly qualified doctor @Saifs.Space, who will soon start as a doctor in base year 1 in London, said: ‘This is the person who will operate on your or your relative’s brain tumors if you are so unwell and this is very skilled and very specialized work.’
In the video, which has been viewed more than 291,000 times, he added, “This is just so embarrassing. This is what we think our healthcare professionals are worth in the UK.
“It just isn’t,” he said.
Disgruntled NHS medics say the pandemic has shed a light on how poorly they are valued in the UK, a factor that has contributed to a wave of strike action across the UK to raise their wages.
The British Medical Association (BMA), the organization behind the move, says its workforce has suffered a 26 per cent real pay cut since 2008/2009.
Addressing this translates into a 35 percent pay increase.
If ministers accepted, some medics could see their salaries rise by as much as £20,000.
BMA co-chairman Vivek Trivedi has suggested that the BMA is willing to negotiate a deal that would see this restoration completed over several years, rather than in one giant leap.
However, ministers argue that union demands for double-digit wage increases are simply unaffordable and should come at the expense of patient care.
There are very few signs of a compromise going forward and as the dispute continues, NHS waiting lists continue to rise to record levels and more and more staff are asking to leave the UK.
In response to the TikTok, users expressed outrage at the salary expectations. “I’m so sorry this is ridiculous – this country is a joke,” someone replied. Another asked, “Is it worth starting medicine in September?”
The lowest paid junior doctors earn an annual salary of £29,384 in their first base year.
This, the BMA states, can work out to about £14.09 per hour. But this is dependent on them not working weekends or nights or earning overtime.
The most senior junior doctor’s basic pay – ST6 to ST8, in their final years of specialist training – is capped at £58,398 per annum.
As is common practice in many industries, physician assistants earn more if they work overtime, nights or weekends.
Rising anger among doctors over poor pay and working conditions has already led to a record number of British doctors, nurses and midwives also seeking to move abroad – with Australia topping their list.
In 2022, almost 25,000 applications were made to UK healthcare regulators to get documents needed to get a job abroad. The vast majority represent NHS workers.
Figures obtained by MailOnline show that by 2022, nearly 7,000 doctors will have requested documents to support an application to work abroad from the UK’s medical regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC). This was an increase from 6,100 in 2019.
Separate figures for 2023, which only go until May, suggest this year will see an even bigger exodus, with nearly 3,500 applications for their documents so far.