“Le plus scandaleux du scandale c’est de s’y habituer” Simone de Beauvoir
One of the more irritating and at the same time pressing issues that we have to quickly correct in most of our health care delivery systems – not only to stop the “hemorrhage” of so many disillusioned professionals into early retirement that we just cannot afford to continue unabated, but also to promote the recruitment of younger cadres as well – is the thorny issue of Gender Inequality in pay scales and benefits. And let us make a point very clear from the start. It not only affects our women colleagues but, us men, too. We cannot expect to have a congenial workplace if whomever is daily working shoulder to shoulder with us is being paid less than we are for an otherwise totally similar task.
On what grounds does this scandalous state of affairs stand?
A teeny-weeny detail: she is a woman. She is being fined with the vagina penalty.
In our new book Emotional Frustration – the hushed plague we have extensively discussed the various forms of financial and economic discrimination that our dear women are being subjected to, even in our supposedly much more egalitarian times. We will discuss this issue many more times in this series but today we are showing you what we wrote about the inequality in the British National Health Service (NHS)
“In May 2018 the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care did a study on gender equality in the NHS [i], led by Professor Dame Jane Acre; it used data from 10 years of electronic records of 16,000 general practitioners and 96,000 trust physicians. They found that the gender gap was 17% based on total pay, which contributes to the overall 23% NHS pay gap. “Male doctors are earning 1.17 pounds for every pound earned by female doctors in the NHS, and new data reveals that women are still not represented in equal proportions in senior medical grades, with nearly 32,000 male consultants to just 18,000 females. The General Practice gender gap is 33%, which is far higher than the average in medicine.” [ii]
Even though half of the physicians in training were female, only a third of the most coveted positions were held by women—18,000 women in a total of 32,000 consultants. They were disproportionately present in lower-paying specialties like Dermatology, compared to the higher number of men in higher-paying ones like Surgery. The same study showed that the demands of motherhood and the burden of irregular working hours seriously harmed their career advancement. [iii]
If this abject pay scale disparity for men and women can occur in a supposedly modern society that had recognized the societal value of equitable access for Health Care, what can we expect of other less enlightened ones? We, the XY-healers, know that our female peers often work much harder than we do. Noblesse oblige.”
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.
[ii] Laura Butler, “Male doctors earn 1,17 pounds for every pound earned by female doctors”, Press release, March 29, 2019. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/news/male-doctors-earn-ps117-every-ps1-earned-female-doctors
[iii] Denis Campbell, “Male NHS doctors earn 17% more than their female peers”, The Guardian, March 28, 2019.