Physician representatives say trainee doctors are struggling to make ends meet because scholarships and student loans are below the benefit threshold.
The British Medical Association (BMA) says the NHS scholarship offered to medical students is “unacceptably low” and unfairly disadvantages trainees on low incomes.
Khadija Meghrawi, co-chair of the BMA’s medical student committee, calls for scrutiny.
“We are a nation in desperate need of more doctors and to develop a medical workforce that is both future-ready and representative of the population it is trying to treat, the government must provide a adequate financial support for medical students,” she said. .
Campaign group Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) say final-year medical students outside London can only claim £6,458 a year, including student loans.
Anna Sigston, a medical student at DAUK, said: ‘This figure makes non-students eligible for universal credit, so the government recognizes this is not enough to live on?
Eilidh Garrett, in her third year of a four-year medical degree, told Sky News she had no parental support to rely on and was forced to work long hours on part-time jobs part-time as well as study and work in NHS internships.
“I’m living on around £550 a month right now and even less next year,” she said. “I never make it through the month and anything extra has to go to credit cards.”
She expects to graduate with over £80,000 in debt and said the lack of resources for students without parental support can be embarrassing.
“On the courses we sometimes need special clothes, I can’t really say that I can’t afford these clothes, especially when some of my peers have funds from their parents to be able to do it,” he said. she declared.
According to a study by the London School of Economics, only 4% of doctors come from the working class.
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A 2011 Cabinet Office report said 51% of the UK’s best doctors came from the 7% who had private training, while the Medical Schools Council says around half of secondary schools and colleges UK did not provide any medical candidates from 2009-2011.
The Department of Health and Social Care told Sky News: “We are supporting medical students in England through all years of study and are keeping funding arrangements under review for all healthcare students. “