Pay rise for dentists in the armed forces ‘absurd and unjust’

Pay rise for dentists in the armed forces 'absurd and unjust'Dentists and doctors in the armed forces ‘have been penalised for their military status’ as new salary increases fall short of their NHS counterparts.

While NHS doctors and dentists have been offered a 4.5% hike, the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) have suggested a 3.75% increase for clinicians.

Now, the British Dental Association (BDA) and British Medical Association (BMA) have banded together in protest of the ‘poorer pay award’.

It comes as the profession also argues the NHS pay rise will ‘accelerate’ the current the workforce crisis.

Colonel Mark Weir is armed forces committee chair for the BMA. Surgeon captain Mike Gall is chair of the BDA armed forces committee. He said: ‘Armed forces doctors and dentists have once again been penalised for their military status.

Real-terms pay cut

‘Following 2021’s pay pause, we expected a pay offer that would go some way to redress the disparity between the awards provided to doctors and dentists in uniform and their civilian counterparts in the NHS.

‘The 4.5% offered to many NHS doctors and dentists also falls well below current rates of inflation. But the fact that we have once again been met with a separate, poorer pay award is absurd and unjust.

‘The AFPRB’s recommendation for a 3.75% pay increase in the face of run-away inflation and over a decade of pay erosion is, once again, a recommendation for a real-terms pay cut. The government knows this to be true.’

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Proved their worth

They added: ‘Military doctors and dentists provide a vital service to this country. They have proved their worth throughout the pandemic.

‘For example, the acceleration of the national vaccination programme, and their part in the establishment of Nightingale hospitals by providing support to civilian authorities.

‘They also continued to promote national security by providing treatment to the armed forces, both at home and overseas.

‘This pay offer will do nothing to boost morale. It may well leave doctors and also dentists questioning whether they wish to continue serving, with all its sacrifices. There are so many opportunities to work as a doctor or dentist outside of the MOD in 2022.’

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