President's Blog - June 2013
Headlines exposing the claimed failings of the NHS have been coming in thick and fast this month, but the one which took the biscuit was "Women GPs are a burden to the NHS". Woman's Hour contacted MWF on this topic, after we put the comments of Ann McIntosh, MP, on our website, and I found myself in conversation with Jenni Murray and the Health Minister, Anna Soubry. Naturally, there had been some journalistic misrepresentation, and Anna Soubry several times agreed with my points. I stressed that men and women both wish to work less than full time; that women are good value to the health service if they can work part time at critical phases, and then return to work and stay until retirement; workforce planning needs to adapt to reflect the changing work patterns in society, allowing young men and women to participate in bringing up their families. If you would like to listen, click here .
MWF was lucky enough to be given a slot to give evidence to the Shape of Training Review, so Prof Jean McEwan (Immediate Past MWF Vice-President) and I met Prof David Greenaway for an hour and emphasised the benefits of keeping women in the workforce through the critical years of training, and the idea that less than full time training should be mainstream rather than a special case. I hope he was listening to Woman's Hour!
Dr Sue Overal comes to the end of her tenure as the BMA GPC (General Practitioner Committee) Rep for MWF in July, and I am grateful for the votes that elected me to take her place. It is so important that we make the most of the opportunities to contribute to influential bodies like the GPC, and make our voice heard.
Sally Davies, President Elect, is on sabbatical in New Zealand for three months, and will be sending us a blog from down under. Do have a look on the website and read her comments.