Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid Response:

Re: Gender pay gap in England’s NHS: little progress since last year

Dear Editor

I am sure that women should have the right to equal pay for equal work, also that both men and women should have equal rights to work part time if they choose.

With the cost to the taxpayer of training doctors now in excess of £500k-600k per head (1) and the current extent of part time working in the NHS (for example, last year only 45% male and 15% female GPs worked 37.5 hours or more (2)) leaving the NHS, the profession or the country, the effective cost of training NHS doctors per whole time equivalent must be between £1m and £1.8m. With the additional factors of GPs no longer having 24hr responsibility for their patients, the EU Working Time Directive and the ageing population, the situation is not sustainable.

Maybe, in order to have their training funded, future doctors should commit to working full time in the NHS for a minimum period of, say, 15 years or otherwise repay their debt in full or pro-rata. (Doctors in training, teaching or NHS management roles would be allowed those sessions).

Certainly the general public should be seen to have a say (via their representatives) about whether their taxes may be spent in the way they currently are, especially as the prospect is of increasing the number of doctors and exacerbating the inefficient use of funds on medical training.

Yours faithfully,

Charles Sears

2. Falling short: the NHS workforce challenge, 2019, The Health Foundation

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 February 2020
Charles A N Sears
Retired full time GP Principal