The Conservative party conference starts will start tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to spending time over the next two days outside Manchester Central, the main Conference venue, handing out thousands of anti-MGM leaflets. We’ll be supporting a fine anti-MGM campaigning organization, Men Do Complain. I invite you to join us. If you’re unsure whether you will do so, I recommend you watch a video of a recent presentation on the Global Survey of Circumcision Harm.
Inside the venue, little or nothing will be said at the Conservative party conference about the true cause of some of the ever-worsening crises in the NHS. Dr Vernon Coleman, an author and campaigner, was writing about the looming crises decades ago, when he explained that as a class female doctors don’t have the same work ethic as male doctors, so the increasing feminisation of the NHS was bound to result in ever more serious problems over time.
The work ethic issue isn’t limited to the NHS, of course. Dr Catherine Hakim, a world-renowned sociologist, revealed in a study in 2000 – ‘Preference Theory’ – that while four in seven British men are ‘work-centred’, only one in seven British women is.
Two-thirds of public sector workers (and one third of private sector workers) are women. Women are far more likely than men to work part-time – not only when they are raising families, but throughout their working lives. One obvious consequence of all this part-time working is organizational inefficiency.
Who pays for the absurd inefficiency of so much of the public sector? Men, in the main. In the 2012/13 tax year, men paid 72% of the income tax collected in the UK, women only 28%. That year men paid £69 BILLION more income tax than women in the UK.
It’s good to an increasing number of pieces in the mainstream media, exploring some stark realities behind various NHS crises. A tip of the hat to Guy Adams of the Daily Mail for his piece in today’s print edition, titled, ‘REVEALED: Why GPs are quitting in droves’. A key extract:
England has 33,000 family doctors. On average, those who are ‘partners’ in NHS surgeries earn £102,000 a year. One in ten earns more than the Prime Minister’s salary of £142,500. That compares with the average British salary of £26,000.
Yet, as Frinton-on-Sea [an Essex town with a population of 5,500 residents, and no full-time GPs] starkly illustrates, money alone will not solve the problem.
One fundamental reason for the GP shortage is increasing ‘feminisation’ of the traditionally male-dominated service. For the first time in England, female GPs now outnumber men, their number having grown by more than 50 per cent over the past decade. [my emphasis]
Nothing wrong with that, of course. Except that female GPs are more likely to work part-time for at least some of their career, taking time off to start a family and cutting their hours to look after children. Of the 1,221 female GPs who left the workforce in 2012-13, 469 were aged under 40. While many may return after a career break or work as locums in the interim, this still puts extra pressure on the GP service.
It goes without saying that the cost in time and money of training two women as doctors who later go on to share a full-time post is double that of training one GP who does the same job. [my emphasis]
When the eminent cancer specialist Professor Meirion Thomas highlighted this as a grave concern in the Mail last year, he was viciously criticised for being sexist — as was the Tory MP Anne McIntosh after she made a similar point in a House of Commons debate.
Yet Professor Thomas’s views found support in an official government report in February. It concluded that the NHS must recruit 3,250 GPs every year just to stand still, to cover both the number of female doctors working part-time and also the ageing GP population.