Department of Health statement

Date published: 28 September 2023

The Department is disappointed by the announcement today that Junior Doctors in NI will be balloted for industrial action.

Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background
Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background

In a meeting this afternoon with the Department, the BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee representatives set out their call for an above inflation pay award for 2023/24 in addition to a commitment to restore pay to 2008 comparative levels.

The Department reiterated the position regarding the ongoing absence of pay offers for 2023/24.

The reality is that implementing the pay offered in England for Agenda for Change health and social care staff, and implementing the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration, would require large scale cuts to services on an unprecedented scale, with severe and lasting implications for health and social care provision.

The Department does not have the authority to make such cutbacks in the absence of a Minister. We also do not believe junior doctors or any other part of the health and social care workforce would want us to implement such measures.

The Department fully understands the deep-seated frustrations over the absence of pay offers.

We recognise that this is not a sustainable position and remain committed to pursuing all avenues to help achieve a resolution.

The Department respects the right of every individual to take industrial action. However, doing so at this time - with no route to a successful resolution currently available - would only further add to already severe pressures on services.

Notes to editors: 

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