NHS accused of racial discrimination on pay for senior doctors

The NHS has been accused of racial discrimination in pay after evidence showed that white senior doctors earned almost £5,000 more than colleagues from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The British Medical Association (BMA) and British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (Bapio) said the findings were part of a wider culture of discrimination against black and minority ethnic doctors, which includes job interviews, promotion, disciplinary processes, harassment and bullying.

The gap in the pay received by white and BME consultants – senior hospital doctors – emerged in research published by the British Medical Journal. Prof John Appleby, the director of research and chief economist at the Nuffield Trust thinktank, said in the study: “The mean basic pay for white consultants is 4.9% higher than for BME consultants.

“This is equivalent to additional basic pay in December 2017 of £387 – or, scaled up, around £4,644 a year – for white consultants.”

In addition, Appleby said: “A more detailed breakdown shows that median basic pay for white consultants is higher than for all other ethnic groups, varying from around 3.5% higher than black/black British consultants to over 6% higher than mixed or dual heritage consultants.”

The gap may be partly due to white consultants generally being older, and thus better paid on the basis of their experience, than BME counterparts, Appleby said. But the differentials are so wide that they “warrant further investigation and explanation”, he added.


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