THE Scottish junior doctors strike has been called off after a record pay increase was agreed with the British Medical Association (BMA). 

Following discussions with Health Secretary Michael Matheson this afternoon, BMA Scotland have agreed to suspend strike action while they consult their members on this deal. 

The 12.4% pay increase for junior doctors and doctors in training for 2023/24, coupled with the pay raise of 4.5% awarded in 2022/23, amounts to a cumulative increase of 17.5% over two years.

The Scottish Government said the offer amounted to a total of £61.3 million, and will result in a doctor beginning their career seeing an increase of £3429 per year, while those at the end of their training will see a boost of £7111.

The deal also includes a commitment to future years pay, contract and pay bargaining modernisation.

READ MORE: Junior doctors in Scotland reject pay offer and vote to strike in July

Health Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Following months of negotiations with BMA Scotland, I am delighted that we have agreed a pay deal for 2023/24 for our junior doctors. BMA have agreed to suspend strike action in Scotland while they consult with their members.

“I hope this investment and the significant commitments we have given around pay and contract reform will show junior doctors how much we value them, and that we are determined to ensure that Scotland is the place for junior doctors to work and train.

“Some patients may have been contacted to say their treatment has been cancelled. We are working hard with health boards to make sure appointments that can go ahead do, and that any others are rescheduled as soon as possible.”

Dr Chris Smith, the chair of the union’s Scottish junior doctor committee, said: “At this stage, our negotiating team feel they have reached the limit of what can be achieved this year and do not think strike action would result in a materially improved offer.

“As a result, we have agreed to suspend next week’s strikes and put this offer to our members.”

Dr Smith added: “This is an unprecedented shift from the Scottish Government, which is a recognition of the huge decline in real terms pay that doctors have experienced over the past 15 years, and the huge amount of work needed to undo the damage this has caused to the NHS.

“By agreeing to address the way our pay has been cut, and setting out a clear mechanism for doing so, the Government is making a serious, welcome commitment to ensuring that pay for junior doctors in Scotland is restored to a fair level.”

Scotland is so far the only part of the UK to avoid strike action by NHS staff during the cost-of-living crisis.

The National: First Minister Humza Yousaf

Responding to Friday's announcement, First Minister Humza Yousaf (above) said: "I am grateful to the BMA Junior Doctors Committee for continuing to engage with @scotgov and agreeing to suspend strike action. This offer represents the biggest pay uplift offered to junior doctors in the history of devolution, I hope BMA members will accept.

"Proud that Scotland continues to be the only nation in the UK that has avoided NHS strikes over the last year. That doesn't happen by accident, it is through a determination to continue meaningful dialogue with our trade union partners and a commitment to fair work & pay."