The NHS is facing a chronic shortage of family doctors after official figures showed some GPs were responsible for 9,000 patients.
So that\’s the basic problem. And no, it\’s not all about the female GPs, but it is at least in part:
There are also concerns that the growing number of female GPs, many of whom work part-time because of family commitments, will lead to further shortfalls.
Two thirds of trainee GPs are women and research by the Royal College of Physicians has found that women GPs will outnumber their male colleagues by 2013.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, a Tory MP and former family doctor, said: “It creates all sorts of pressures as women take time out with family commitments. There is a real risk of a shortage.”
Obviously and clearly having (or soon to have) a majority female profession is going to change the working habits of that profession. Even just in our little blogging community we know of one female GP who is working part time as the kids reach towards 10 years old (ish).
We thus need to have rather more GPs than we used to given that so many of them are going to do this part time working thing.
Which leads to two rather interesting points.
The first being, should we really be paying female GPs the same as male? There\’s an argument that we shouldn\’t be. For it costs some £250,000 to train one, all paid by the NHS. In a 30 year career (few if any qualify before 30, 60 is not an unusual retirement age) we, having paid for that training, might get 15 years of full time and 15 years of part.
It thus costs us more to employ female GPs…..shouldn\’t they thus get lower wages per hour?
The second is, well, this was a bloody obvious outcome of the combination of moving to a female majority profession plus allowing part time working, career breaks and so on. So why do we actually have this problem? Isn\’t the NHS a beautifully State planned organisation? Don\’t we have caring and omniscient bureaucrats who manage the whole thing as an integrated system? Isn\’t this, something that has developed slowly over the last couple of decades, something that such planning, such omniscience, should be able to deal with?
Or should we argue that, given that the planners obviously didn\’t see it for we do have this problem, the planners are fuckwits?
Or even, to be extreme and outrageous, argue that if the planners cannot deal with something so glaringly obvious, that planning itself isn\’t all it\’s cracked up to be?