The BMA has written to the National Audit Office calling for a full independent investigation of the costs to the public of the government's failed medical training reforms this year.
The letter from the Association's Junior Doctors Committee says that in addition to the £1.9 million paid to an IT company to set up an online recruitment system that repeatedly failed, there are likely to have been "more hidden costs to the tax payer" such as the continuing costs of using MTAS to collect data, and the extra interviews that had to be arranged.
Junior doctors started new posts on 1 August, but the BMA is investigating continuing problems such as people being underpaid. Many are in temporary posts that end next month.
Dr Andrew Rowland, vice chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, says:
"We know that thousands of doctors have had their careers messed up, that many of those who found posts still haven't been paid properly, and that others are going to be out of post next month. What we don't yet know is how much public money has been wasted on this failed experiment.
The £1.9 million paid to the company that set up the failed MTAS I.T. system is the tip of the iceberg. In some ways, we'll never know the real impact this disaster has had, because we'll never know how many doctors have been prevented from reaching their full potential, or how many patients had their care delayed."
Today (Thursday 6 September, 2007) the BMA publishes its own list of figures that are already known, including the fact that it costs £265,000 to train a doctor up to the point where they can apply for specialty training, and that more than half of junior doctors have considered leaving the country this year.
For more information on the BMA's campaign on MTAS, go to: http://www.bma.org.uk/mtas.