We received this in the Teethgeek.com inbox this week. Recent University of Liverpool graduate Amaar Hassan asked us to publish his letter to BDA chair Mick Armstrong outlining his views on the plans to cut DF1 pay.
In his letter, Amaar illustrates how the pay cut, alongside the much debated 64% ARF hike will affect him as a new graduate.
It reads like this:
- Dear Dr Mick Armstrong,
- The first point I would like to discuss was a recent survey by the BDA stating that the average student debt is nearly £25,000. I would argue that this is not a realistic number and that the average debt of a student is around £40,000. An undergraduate studying Dentistry and graduating in 2014 will pay £3,300 x 4 in tuition fees (NHS covers tuition fees in final year of study) equalling approximately £13,200. The student loan company can give anywhere between £6,000- £9,000 depending on parent’s income over 4 years, and a reduced loan in the final year of around £2,500 as the NHS provide a bursary every month. This equals at least £26,500 over the course of 5 years making a total of approximately £40,000. A quick calculation would tell me that rent alone over 5 years of studying would be around £25,000!Figure 1 is a table of the debt I am in, and it is important to consider that some banks such as Halifax offer a £3,000 student overdraft which needs to be paid off within one year of graduating.
- The second factor I would like you to consider is the difference the salary reduction would make on a typical student like myself, Figure 2 illustrates that with the expenditure I have next year the salary reduction means I would not be able to afford a car.
- Finally I would urge the BDA to explore all avenues for the current graduates of 2014, who have been powerless against the proposed salary reduction, however should the reduction happen then I strongly recommend propositions into ways the DF1 can earn extra money (like doctors) so that the students who are massively in debt are able to pay off student overdrafts on time or afford a car. There is an increasing difficulty of students getting a DF1 job and many have resorted to needing a car to travel to their practice.
My name is Amaar Hassan, I have recently graduated at the University of Liverpool studying Dentistry. I am waiting to start my DFT post in September in a practice based on the Wirral, in the outskirts of Liverpool. I am delighted with the response of the BDA regarding the DF1 salary cuts and increased ARF/GDC issues and rest assured we -the current crop of dental students- have your full support.
Despite this, I am writing to discuss that there may have been some inaccuracies in a survey where you posted most dental students are currently around £25,000 in debt. In fact I believe that most dental students are around £40,000 debt including student overdrafts and family contributions. I would also like to discuss in detail the impact a salary reduction will have on a student like myself and that it might be the difference between being able to afford a car or not. Finally, if the ARF increase and salary reduction does go ahead I urge at the very least that the BDA explore avenues for DF1 be exempted from the increased annual fee due to the burden of the salary reduction and that DF1 Dentists may have avenues to increase their salary (like foundation doctors) to help the students who are in debt the most.
I appreciate that you and the members of the BDA are doing all they can to ensure protection of DF1 Dentists therefore I hope this letter will help in any way for us achieving justice, I hope that you can represent mine and all the DF1s sentiments which are echoed in this letter, to the opposition.
GDC registration number 250902