Doctors and nurses considering move to Australia as pay disputes continue - ‘They get more appreciation there!’

Kishan Bodalia said that many junior doctors are struggling to manage financially

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A junior doctor has said many of his colleagues are "struggling to manage financially", amid a report which shows four in ten plan to quit the NHS.

In an interview with GB News, Junior doctor Kishan Bodalia said: “We’re working weekends, nights, holidays, taking on immense responsibility, and many junior doctors are struggling to manage financially.

“We go to medical school for five years - many of us graduate with up to £100,000 worth of debt! Doctors and nurses, and many of the people working with the NHS, are feeling the strains that are on the system at the moment.

“There comes a point in a person's career where they are unable to continue working in that environment. And as a result many are going abroad where salaries may be higher, and they're feeling more valued. It is a much more tempting proposition.”

His comments come as a campaigning GP warned many junior doctors are burnt out, and unable to afford to pay their rent.

Dr Antia Raja spoke out in the wake of reports from the British Medical Association, which revealed four in ten junior doctors plan to quit the NHS.

Speaking to GB News, Dr Raja said: “This is concerning because many feed through to eventually become GPs. We must understand that the term “junior” doesn't really explain what these doctors do. Anybody who is below a consultant level could be a junior doctor with vast experience.

“Anyone who's been working as a registrar and senior registrar for over 10 years could be a junior doctor.”

Commenting on the BMA, she continued: “We're seeing some very, very disappointing and dire figures. And this is happening because junior doctors have worked relentlessly throughout the pandemic. They've put their lives at risk, and made significant sacrifices. We've seen many doctors and many nurses die during the pandemic pre the vaccine rollout.”

Highlighting pay as one of the key drivers behind the problems in the service she said: “Unfortunately when we look at the key issue, real term pay, it has been cut by more than 26% since 2008 and 2009. I am not joking. I'm not just saying this, but there are doctors who can't afford their rent, they can't afford to heat their houses. They can't afford to buy food towards the end of the month. So there is a huge problem here.”

Dr Raja spoke to Mark Longhurst on GB News
Dr Raja spoke to Mark Longhurst on GB News

Dr Raja said the crisis in the NHS was leading to many medics choosing to work abroad.

She said: “When you become a doctor, there is approximately £100,000 debt on you. These are people who have put their whole youth into studying. These are highly qualified professionals, very educated members of the society, the cream of our society.

“Many have the right to move to better and brighter lands where they are appreciated, and where they can have a better quality of life.

“If you look at the BMA survey again in a bit more detail a third of the doctors are actually thinking of leaving in the next 12 months if they get the opportunity to leave.

“I personally know many doctors and nurses who are actually working in Australia and New Zealand on better pay, with better weather where they get more appreciation, and are definitely not at the risk of burning out like here.”