I believe our past and current working hours and the stress of our jobs should differentiate the way we are treated from other public sector workers – in the same way that policemen are able to retire on full pay after 30 years’ service
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We worked very hard in our teenage years to get a place at medical school. Medical school training was long and arduous. Our junior hospital doctors’ years meant working very long hours with ‘overtime’ being paid at a derisory rate, at the same time as studying in our own time for higher professional qualifications.
Our working lives are frenetic – does any GP actually get a coffee break, tea break or lunch break? I expect they, like me, sip coffee or tea after pressing their buzzer while waiting for the next patient to arrive.
Eleven-hour days or longer are the norm for most of us. Stress is a constant and comes in too many guises to list. We put up with rudeness from a number of sources.
The Treasury no longer contributes to our superannuation pot. PCTs only contribute via the global sum, which excludes considerable amounts of our income. We pay 22.5% superannuation on some of our income, and out of the remainder we make very healthy contributions to the Chancellor in the form of tax and national insurance.
And, in return for agreeing a rise in our superannuation contributions, we were promised that we would be able to retire at 60.
From Dr Bella Caiger Southsea, Hampshire
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