Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Money, money, money



There’s loads in the news about the economy today and how the credit crunch and rising commodity prices mean that we’re all going to have less money for the foreseeable future. I’m quite annoyed by the fact that there are economists all over the telly telling everyone how “it would be really dangerous if public sector workers got pay rises.”

We junior docs got a 2.2% pay increase this year, despite the fact that inflation is at 3.3% and set to rise. I think it’s ridiculous to say that the city workers and bankers who caused the credit crunch can take home six-figure salaries and five-figure bonuses, but that doctors and nurses are not allowed a pay deal that keeps up with inflation.

The thing is being a junior doctor is an expensive business. I was working out exactly how expensive during a theatre session this afternoon and I came up with this list of fees that I have to pay this year in addition to the usual travel and clothing costs that every worker has to pay.

FRCA Primary MCQ Exam Fee: £260
General Medical Council Registration Fee: £390
Medical Indemnity Insurance: £60
Membership of the AAGBI: £55
FRCA Primary OSCE/Viva Exam Fee: £450
Anaesthetic Textbooks (to date): £175
Advances Trauma and Life Support Course Fee: £550

Total: £1940!

Looks like I won’t be going on holiday this year…

6 comments:

Elaine said...

Just as well you didn't go into medicine for the money, but try telling that to this government.

Oliver Smith said...

Ouch!

The cost of living is really going up. My weekly shopping bills have increased by something like 25% over the last few months.

becks said...

As I understand it you can claim back tax on things like professional exams , registration fees and memberships* - maybe not enough for a holiday, but a sum not to be sneezed at, especially since you can back claim for 5 years.


*i.e. if you pay 22% tax you can claim back 22% of the total fees

Homer said...

You'll be minted in the long run though, think of all those lovely Bupa (sorry, Spire) theatre lists...

Anonymous said...

You can actually offset the entire amount of any necessary professional expenses against tax by filling in a tax return so you can claim it all back.

Matt said...

Here's a yank's perspective: healthcare is going to take it in the shorts. Our "privatized" model means that more and more docs are opting out of the system just so they can make ends meet, and rather than amassing a nice retirement from the fees they collect, they are turning to more aggressive financial options including medical venture capital, which can be pretty high stakes. Everyone's trying to do more with less, but at some point, just treading water financially will be an accomplishment. Sorry you're feeling the ills of our Wild West economy...