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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

GP gender pay gap 'far higher' than average at 33%, finds Government review

Male GPs earn 33% more than their female counterparts, according to a major review of the gender pay gap in the NHS.

Interim results from the Department of Health and Social Care-commissioned review, published today, found the gender pay gap in general practice is 'far higher than the average in medicine'.

The results also showed a lack of women represented in senior medical grades across the NHS, with women over-represented in lower-paid specialties. 

The interim report from the review - the full findings of which will be published in September - said: 'The general practice gender pay gap is 33% - far higher than the average in medicine.'

The report also showed:

  • Male doctors earning £1.17 for every £1 earned by female doctors in the NHS, with two in three consultants being men
  • There is a lack of women represented in senior medical grades, with nearly 32,000 male consultants to just 18,000 female
  • Although two-thirds of doctors in training grades are women the number drops to less than half in consultant grades
  • Women are over represented in lower paid specialties, such as public health and occupational health, while being under represented in the highest paying specialties including urology and surgery
  • There is variation across medical specialities, with male-dominated specialties such as urology showing a higher gender pay gap

Review lead Professor Dame Jane Dacre - former president of the Royal College of Physicians - said: 'Our research shows that the gender pay gap in medicine is slowly narrowing, but with more to do. The findings of the review will help us to work with government, employers and the profession to identify and understand the main contributors to the gap, and to explore ways to reduce it, based on our evidence.'

BMA GP Committee sessional chair Dr Zoe Norris said: ‘Assuming that the review is comparing like for like, I think is surprising and shocking and really disappointing. There is no excuse for that gap, a GP is a GP, and from the day we qualify we are doing that job.

‘Gender should not make a difference, and if it is then I just think that is inexcusable. I would encourage all colleagues to look at what they are earning and talk openly about it with their colleagues, and make sure this is not happening.’

Health minister Stephen Hammond said: 'The founding principle of the NHS is to treat everyone equally, yet women employed in the health service are still experiencing inequality. 

'It’s disappointing to see that the numbers show that two thirds of senior medics are men despite more women starting training and it is essential we understand the underlying causes of the gender pay gap if we are to eradicate it from modern workplaces like the NHS. 

'Senior doctors and managers have an important role to play in breaking down barriers and championing equality as role models or mentors so aspiring doctors know they are joining a health service that encourages more women to reach their full potential.' 

The final review will identify the impact of cultural, practical and psychological issues that contribute to the gender pay gap in medicine.

The research, which is being conducted by gender pay expert Professor Carol Woodhams and analysts from the University of Surrey, involved an in-depth analysis of anonymised pay data, evidence obtained from interviews conducted with medics at various career stages, and an online survey of 40,000 doctors. 

Last year, NHS England published its first gender pay gap report, which found an average gender pay gap of 21% - as of 31 March 2017.

BMJ-funded research previously reported female GPs earn an average of 13% less than their male counterparts and face discrimination and sometimes ‘hostile' working environments.

Readers' comments (25)

  • Wow- amazed that no one has yet pointed out the core precedent of the gender pay gap. Opportunity. Many female GPs would be happy to ‘step up’ to taking higher risk roles and greater responsibilities, if they didn’t live in a world where schools think “child is sick, call mum first”, or where women are obligated by the majority of household/carer admin. It’s not about hourly rates, it’s about fairness and equality in life first, filtering down to the workplace

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  • Salaried Valerie | Salaried GP31 Mar 2019 8:00pm

    Mum can always call dad if she thinks its dad's turn. And if you're marrying someone who's 'obligating' you to household/carer admin, maybe you're not marrying the right person. It's your choice to marry someone to dominate you, to stand equal to you, or for you to dominate. Fairness and equality are NOT the same thing. Choice is fairness, forced equality as compelled by the state (i.e. someone else and so, subjective) is anti-libertarian.

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  • One need constant high heat and heavy hammer blows to be forged in fire 🔥

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  • There is a problem with the stats, but that doesn't excuse the attitudes demonstrated above.

    There are satirical seventies tv shows with less stereotypes.

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  • I married a non doctor so we don't have this argument at home! :-) Everywhere the NHS rates are the same and based on grade / speciality, not gender. If anyone can find an example of being paid less for the same job why are they not down at the solicitors preparing their case? In which case then it comes down to career choices and negotiations with their respective partners about childcare arrangements. Having children is a choice. Success, which I accept has variable definitions, but in a career sense usually depends on the amount of time and effort spent on it. If you choose to spend more time with your children and family (Whether male or female) then you have less time to spend on your career and Vice versa. I am aware of very high achieving individuals who have fancy cars, and a large bank account, but now quite estranged from their resentful children. There appears to be a socially media driven concept that you can have it all..... but i don't think you really can.... like any other resource there is a finite amount of time in your life, how do you choose to spend it? There's an old saying- if you want your children to do well spend twice as much time with them and half as much money. We all get to choose how we spend our time, but whats important to you when lying on your death bed? Interestingly the Marie curie nurses looked at this... there wasn't one individual who wished they had worked harder, and all said they could have done with less money.... the figures here are too shallow... are the ones earning more money working longer hours? Are they any happier? Perhaps they bought fancier things and are trapped by debt and having to work longer hours.......Men too feel trapped by being stereotyped to be the 'bread winner' perhaps they feel inadequate comparing themselves to the lucrative incomes of private surgery and are trying to close the gap a bit so it doesnt look quite so bad for them..... there is also the psychology of success, its often driven by fear and a feeling of inadequacy and for some there can never be enough...... these statistics are a non story and the figures are out of any meaningful context..... at some level we all choose.... blaming others for our own choices is merely taking on a victims mantra. The rates of pay are the same, if you want to spend less time with your family and more time on your career fine, more money does not equate to a more satisfying life..... I think above £50,000 per year there is little evidence that beyond this point increasing income increases your happiness. I wonder if these statistics were just another clever ploy to divide our already disjointed profession?

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