NI rejects curbing female GP numbers

Calls to reduce the proportion of female GPs in Northern Ireland were greeted with outrage at the annual Northern Ireland LMCs' conference.

Dr Tom Black, medical secretary for Western LMC, said the gender imbalance must be addressed to meet the needs of the population.

He proposed 'intelligent workforce planning' to ensure what he claimed was a four to one ratio of female to male GPs did not get worse.

His call came as Brian McKinstry, a senior researcher at the University of Edinburgh, wrote in the BMJ that male GPs will soon be in a minority due to a growing number of female medical graduates.

Many speakers at the conference, in Newcastle, County Down, opposed the idea which was defeated.

Dr Pamela Logue from Northern LMC said she was horrified it was even proposed.

'Females are obtaining results. Men prefer to come to a woman anyway,' she said.

Mr McKinstry's report argued that women work fewer hours and contribute less to research, training and committee work than men.

BMJ 2008; 338: 748-9

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us: