The NHS pays thousands of pounds more to male doctors than their female counterparts, a report by the British Medical Association claims.

The report says there is an overall average salary gap of £15,000 between male and female doctors in the UK. Female consultants typically earn £5,500 less than their male peers and female junior doctors earn around £2,000 less than their male counterparts, it claims.

The report says: “Men and women with identical experience and expertise are paid differently - which suggests evidence of discrimination.”

The study, which will be published later in the year, says part of the disparity is due to age and experience but that around half of the pay difference is caused by discrimination.

Dr Anita Holdcroft, emeritus professor of anaesthesia at Imperial, told the Guardian: “Discrimination is the only way that we can explain the gender pay gap.”

A BMA spokesman said: “This report demonstrates that a worrying pay gap continues to exist between men and women in UK medicine today.”