A DOCTOR who has been treating coronavirus patients in intensive care has slammed the Government’s pay rise offer as “a slap in the face”.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said public sector workers would see extra money in their pay packets as a reward for their work during the pandemic.

More than 300 NHS workers have died in England after contracting the virus and doctors were promised a 2.8 per cent rise.

But the Government has been criticised for short changing doctors and the British Medical Association (BMA) said it had hoped for “far better”.

Dr Lisa Rampersad works at a hospital in Sussex. She is a surgical trainee and has been treating coronavirus patients in a critical care unit.

The 34-year-old spoke to The Argus on behalf of the BMA and in a personal capacity.

She said: “I feel like the Government just doesn’t understand what we’ve all been going through.

“People have been coming out to clap but we’re not seeing a fair pay rise.

“This is just the yearly rise – it’s not an addition to what it would be anyway. All we’ve done is work and work and then at the end of the month to see your pay – it just feels like nobody in Government knows what you’re doing. We’re putting our lives at risk.”

Dr Rampersad said the money offered had left doctors feeling taken for granted.

“We’re called ‘heroes’, but I’m reluctant to use that term,” she said.

“Heroes sacrifice themselves for others. In Marvel comics, they come to save the day. They take risks and don’t expect anything in return – and that’s OK, because that’s what happens to heroes.

“Doctors have stepped up and done what they had to do – but it feels like a slap in the face for that not to be recognised.”

She said colleagues had been “disgusted” by the terms of the deal, and pointed out that junior doctors and GPs will not see a 2.8 per cent rise.

“Junior doctors who have been working on Covid wards getting a two per cent pay rise feel short changed,” she said.

“Some doctors have had to stay away from their families and be apart from their children because they’re worried about spreading the virus to relatives. I was supposed to go out and see my own family, but I haven’t been able to.

“I came home every day last week and cried for my patients – it’s been that emotional.”

She wants to see a real terms uplift in doctors’ pay. “We should get paid what we’re worth,” she said.

The Government has said the pay rises – agreed with independent pay review bodies – “reflect the enormous effort made by those in the public sector in responding to the unprecedented challenges for the country during the Covid-19 outbreak.”

But Dr David Wrigley, vice-chairman of the BMA, said pay “has fallen way behind” where it should be. “These are the sort of rises we’d expect to see in normal times, not in a time when many of us have not had a day off in six months and have been putting our lives on the line,” he said.