Our thanks to Nigel for this:
There’s that elephant again, lurking in the NHS room https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9956547/So-WONT-doctor-special-report-lays-bare-grim-truth.html. In a long article about the experience of everyone I know, the near impossibility of actually getting a face-to-face GP appointment, sitting quietly in the middle of the piece is the real problem:
“The majority of GPs are women, however, and flexible working patterns have helped recruit and retain them by allowing them to balance the job with family life. This is the other side of the argument, one often lost in headlines. None of this will come as consolation, however, to the people of Hightown and thousands of other patients across the country who can’t see a doctor.”
So in effect the recruitment drive to get more women into medicine means a workforce balancing the “job” with their family life. Of course we daren’t question the effect of a workforce a huge proportion of which is working only school hours and term times! Understandably this then has an effect on the male GPs, who otherwise have to cover all those hours in which their female colleagues are enjoying a nice “work/life balance” . Given the very high incomes it must be tempting to mirror their female colleagues’ lighter workload. The result, well, the rest of the article lists those in terms of more illness and death than need be.
It’s amazing how the obvious practical effects of of having workers in any industry leaving for periods of maternity leave, working only school terms or hours , leaving early or working part-time to create “balance” , are constantly ignored. There are costs to this sort of built-in inefficiency. In this case we the tax payer gets much less service.
I don’t suppose anyone would dare to research the effect of the shift to a majority female workforce, especially in a public service where inefficiency is not punished by going out of business. If nothing else they may realise the obvious problem with one of the NHS’s solutions to this, more practice nurses, who will generally want to be nursing in the community to avoid the shift work and unsocial hours of hospitals!
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