Women GPs make 'unreasonable demands' on maternity costs

Women GP partners should not do better out of maternity arrangements than hospital doctors, the incoming president of the Medical Women's Federation (MWF) says.

Sussex GP Dr Clarissa Fabre (pictured) says that some female partners make ‘unreasonable demands' on their practices to cover maternity locum costs.

The MWF council was due to debate a call for a new ‘fairness' clause in the BMA model partnership agreement that would rein back partners' contributions to maternity leave cover.

Under the new clause, all maternity locum costs would be borne by the PCT and the woman doctor herself.

At present, in ‘99% of practices' partners make some contribution to maternity locum costs, Dr Fabre said.

A common arrangement is for the practice and the PCT to share the costs of the first three months of maternity leave and the woman partner and the PCT to share the costs of the second three months, Dr Fabre explained.

Practices usually give a woman partner a full share of the practice profits during her maternity leave. The cost of locum payments may financially penalise all the partners in the practice, particularly where the PCT does not make a full reimbursement, Dr Fabre was set to tell the MWF council at its spring meeting.

‘Some women partners make unreasonable demands,' Dr Fabre said. ‘Maternity cover shouldn't cost her money, but she shouldn't do better than a hospital doctor.'

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