BMA demands financial inquiry into medical training fiasco

The BMA has written to the National Audit Office calling for a full independent investigation of the costs to the public of the government’s failed medical training reforms.

The letter from the association’s Junior Doctors Committee says that £1.9 million was paid to an IT company to set up the online recruitment system that repeatedly failed.

There were also likely to have been ‘more hidden costs to the tax payer’, says the letter, such as the continuing costs of using the system to collect data, and the extra interviews that had to be arranged.

Junior doctors started new posts on 1 August, but the BMA is investigating continuing problems such as people being underpaid. Many are in temporary posts that end next month.

Dr Andrew Rowland, vice chairman of the committee, said:

We know that thousands of doctors have had their careers messed up, that many of those who found posts still haven’t been paid properly, and that others are going to be out of post next month. What we don’t yet know is how much public money has been wasted on this failed experiment.

‘The £1.9 million paid to the company that set up the failed IT system is the tip of the iceberg. In some ways, we’ll never know the real impact this disaster has had, because we’ll never know how many doctors have been prevented from reaching their full potential, or how many patients had their care delayed.’

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