Women GPs have overtaken men in Scotland, workforce statistics now show.
According to November 2009 figures from the GP contractor database, females make up 50.7% of the 4,941-strong workforce by headcount. But while 80% of male Scottish GPs work full-time at eight or more sessions a week, only 27% of women do.
Women GPs in Scotland outnumber men in salaried posts. Out of 480 directly-employed GPs, 69% are women.
- In England, women make up 43% of the GP workforce.
- In Wales, 39% of the country's 1,940 GPs are women
- In Northern Ireland, 39% are women.
The percentage of women GPs is rising in all four countries, but the number of female GPs has risen sharply in Scotland.
Between 2004 and 2009, the number of female GPs in Scotland rose 24%, against a 0.2% increase in men.
Dr Colette Maule, a GP in Wishaw, Lanarkshire and a member of GPC Scotland, said the increase in women is leading to more all-women practices, which can raise issues of patient choice.
‘The big problem now is how women get training, which still tends to be whole time equivalent-centred,' she added.
But Dr Clarissa Fabre, a GP in Uckfield, Sussex, and president-elect of the Medical Women's Federation, said there are ‘plenty of opportunities for flexible, part-time training in general practice'.