Are you currently waiting for an outpatient appointment or an operation? Perhaps you are desperate to see your GP? The reason you are waiting is because of the likes of me, yes, part-time women are a burden on the NHS according to Anna Soubry (who? a health minister apparently) and Tory MP Anne McIntosh (another “new to me” person, but then I am a useless part-timer and too busy dossing about to keep up to date). Feel free to read about the whole sorry debate and subsequent furore here, and here and here. It has been somewhat overreacted to by the media.
Anyway, I had the opportunity (due to the fact I work part-time) to listen to Women’s Hour last week and heard Anna Soubry who had supported Anne McIntosh’s frankly mental comment that part time women are a burden and that there are “unintended consequences” of having all these women. Anna Soubry felt it was a “hell of a storm” whipped up by the media and then there was a ridiculous bit of radio when she mentioned how her mum was a radiographer and that she thinks it’s marvellous that women can have babies and work part time….good God woman…it’s 2013. The other medical madame they had invited along was Dr Fiona Cornish the president of the medical women’s federation (I am not a member) who was so marvellously well spoken she made Jenny Murray sound a bit rough. Most GP’s work less than full time, they don’t do 12 sessions like most of my colleagues do; not one of my friends who is a GP (males and females) is doing the hours hospital doctors put in and this point was well made by Dr Cornish. It was a damp squib of an interview (you can listen too) though and could have been far more interesting and lively. The Daily Mail are the voice of unreason as per usual on this, their own Mrs Malaprop Melanie Phillips (who justifies her comments by saying she is a woman who once worked part-time) thinks that the “The dilemma of combining work or a career with motherhood is a difficult one, perhaps even insoluble. But surely it is essential that we should discuss it?” I can assure you Melanie, that we part-time medical women are completely insoluble, unless you try to dissolve us in fits of laughter at the drivel that is published in the Daily Mail.
I have a solution to the problem; stop letting so many hot women into medical school.
Melanie Philips: Unlikely to be chased around the hospital by the few remaining male doctors.