In spite of the fact that there are now twice as many women entering medical school than men, the NHS was slow at tackling the workforce implications, said Professor Howe.
‘It seems that the NHS is determined not to do what’s obvious which is to be proactive and plan it. It should be finding ways of covering things like job sharing.’
She described it as ‘bizarre’ that this did not happen.
The consequence was that women had much slower career progression and often suffered from the ‘double burden’ of family and patients.
Professor Howe said in her practice they discussed terms and conditions for everyone before a maternity issue arose.
‘It never caused any problems because when someone wanted a career break we knew how we would handle it,’ she said.
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