Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 18:27 UK

Doctors in accommodation protest

Junior doctors and medical students have staged protests at the government's decision to scrap free accommodation for first-year doctors.

The demonstrations took place at hospitals in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro.

The government argues that new legislation to reduce the hours worked by junior doctors means it is no longer necessary to provide accommodation.

The British Medical Association claims it amounts to a 4,800 annual pay cut.

Matthew Izett, a third year student doctor and British Medical Association rep said: "Student debt is rising, the average is now about 20,000.

"This accommodation makes up a significant proportion of the financial incentive for first-year junior doctors and we've taken what is effectively a 20% pay cut for junior doctors next year."

The Department of Health said in a statement: "Changes to the working patterns of junior doctors and new rotas make it unnecessary for them to be 'on call' meaning there is no residency requirement.

"It is therefore the case that free accommodation for junior doctors has not been a necessity for some time."

Further protests by doctors and medical students are planned at hospitals across the UK over the next two weeks.




SEE ALSO
Doctors' anger over 'pay cut'
13 May 08 |  Scotland

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