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Women doctors are ‘tremendous burden’ says female Tory MP

Women doctors are piling a ‘tremendous burden’ on the NHS by working part-time, a female Conservative MP has said in comments supported by a health minister.

Conservative MP Anne McIntosh told the House of Commons that the increased numbers of women GPs caused a strain on the NHS because they took time off to raise children.

The comments were supported by health minister Anna Soubry, who said the MP raised an important point about the ‘unintended consequences’ of more women training to be doctors.

In the debate on the NHS 111 phone line yesterday, Ms McIntosh said female medical students are likely to want to marry, start, families and then work part-time. 

She said: ‘It’s a controversial thing to say, but perhaps I as a woman can say this – 70% of medical students currently are women and they are very well educated and very well qualified.

‘When they go into practice and then in the normal course of events will marry and have children, they often want to go part-time and it is obviously a tremendous burden training what effectively might be two GPs working part-time where they are ladies.’

Ms Soubry agreed and said: ‘Could I just say very quickly you make an important point when you talk about, rightly, the good number of women who are training to be doctors, but the unintended consequences.’

The Government’s five-year mandate to Health Education England commits the body to ensure that half of of medical training places to go to GPs by 2018.

GPC member Dr Beth McCarron-Nash said: ‘This is a very outdated view of women in the modern workplace. Having a family or choosing to work flexibly should not be perceived as a negative career option, for women or men.

‘The NHS needs to adapt its workforce planning to reflect the changing working patterns in society.’

Readers' comments (68)

  • What has always bothered me is how can a GP who works part time give good continuity of care since they're only working a few sessions a week, whether that GP is a woman or a man. It just so happens that more women work part time so I can quite understand Anne McIntosh's point about women GP's. It's not an outdated view of women, it's just a fact that if a GP works part time they can't give such good continuity of care as a full time GP, and it is c of c which is needed in an age when there are more patients with long term or complex health conditions.

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  • Vinci Ho

    OMG
    Another 'wonderful 'quality shown by these Tory MPs.
    The fact you are a woman , so you can insult women like that .

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  • And how does a persons choice to have children and bring them up and continue to work in a high pressured professional capacity manage to be turned into negative? The headline should remove the word female, as this adds no justification to these ignorant comments, and the MP should consider how this sits with equality rights.

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  • Hazel Drury

    Yeah right. I'll f*** off now then shall I? :-(

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  • Vinci Ho

    This comment has been deleted by the moderator.

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  • Mickey Mouse lost his Conservative Party watch.

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see , as I said in the past :
    One way politicians can destroy their enemies is introducing divisions amongst different factions amongst them. First , between hospital and community professionals and now between male and female GPs .
    Unite against the real enemy , comrades.....

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  • Tory MPs are a tremendous burden on the UK.

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  • Best not to piss off those of us who are already trained then so we continue to work beyond 55.

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  • ok lets see who we've got as the government's scapegoats so far for the NHS crisis:
    1.Lazy fatcat GPs
    2.Lazy non-committed women GPs who want the best of both worlds
    3.Immigrants
    4.....lets see who comes next!!

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