I knew that British doctors are well-paid but unti I saw, via Kevin Drum, this chart I had no idea they were so much better-paid than most of their peers in the western world. This is culled from a 2004 OECD report (Pdf) and all figures are in PPP-adjusted dollars.
Of course, doctors received significant pay increases during the Blair years. Specialists were not treated as kindly as (well-trained) GPs but even their wages increased by more than 30% in real terms.
Which is fine. The constituency demanding pay cuts for doctors is very small. Nevertheless, these charts (which are not, I think, outdated in any significant sense) are worth recalling next time doctors try suggesting they are hard done by.
Indeed, though in some respects – or at least according to some measurements – the NHS has become more efficient in the last 15 years (especially in England and Wales) one wonders if patients feel the performance of their GP has improved anything like as quickly as GPs’ pay has increased?
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.