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Anger over massive 108% salary hike for doctors' union boss John Woods

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 09/06/2015

A senior official from a union representing doctors in Northern Ireland has seen his salary more than double, it has emerged
A senior official from a union representing doctors in Northern Ireland has seen his salary more than double, it has emerged

A senior official from a union representing doctors in Northern Ireland has seen his salary more than double, it has emerged.

John Woods, the Northern Ireland chair of the British Medical Association (BMA), received a 108% pay hike.

He now receives more than £60,000 a year.

Dr Woods was one of seven senior BMA figures across the UK who were awarded a rise.

The wage increases have caused anger at a time when many medics are suffering pay restraint.

However, the BMA said it was necessary to attract the right people to lead the organisation.

The wage rises were detailed in a confidential BMA paper obtained by The Guardian.

Dr Woods is a consultant nephrologist with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

His clinical interest is the care of kidney disease through dialysis.

His salary jumped from £30,150 to £62,631.

The increases are embarrassing for the BMA which in March criticised the coalition government's decision to deny doctors pay increases as "an insult" that "devalued and demoralised" NHS medics.

The rises were only narrowly approved by members of the BMA's ruling council by a 15-11 vote.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, a health minister in the coalition government, said the rises were "over the top and unjustified".

"How can they do this at a time when all the people they represent are having to accept the consequences of significant restraint and often real terms reductions in their pay?

"It's staggering and it beggars belief," he said.

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