Friday, 12 October 2007

Underpaid Medical Secretaries Plight Raised in Assembly

This summer I became vicariously acquainted with the important and responsible work carried out by medical secretaries in the NHS.

I have also come to understand that there is a shortage of candidates to fill these positions in Northern Ireland, due to the derisory wages offered. The result is a large backlog of work, inefficiency in delivery of services and public money being wasted by plugging the gap with agency staff.

The SDLP’s Thomas Burns raises this issue today in the NI Assembly’s written questions and outlines the disparity between medical secretaries in Northern Ireland and in the other devolved regions:

Questions to the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

1. Mr Thomas Burns ( South Antrim):
To ask the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to provide an explanation of why all medical secretaries in Northern Ireland were matched to Band 3 pay levels, regardless of experience, compared to 70% of medical secretaries in Wales and 80% of medical secretaries in Scotland, who were matched to Band 4 pay levels.
(AQW 584/08)

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