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RCSEd Comments on Role of Women in the NHS

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13 Jan 2014

Commenting on a recent article questioning the impact of women doctors in the NHS, Mr Ian Ritchie, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh said:

"At the beginning of the year an article appeared in a national newspaper suggesting that the number of women doctors in the NHS is in some way ‘hurting’ the service. Although this article was one person’s opinion, and should be treated as such, it served to highlight a worrying issue that, despite the fact that there can be no question of gender playing any part in an individual’s competence, skill or value, there are still those who believe it does. The NHS therefore has a duty to support all those, whether male or female, who wish to work less than full time; and to work hard to stamp out any residual concern that as a service it is being negatively affected by the number of women it employs as doctors.

"As a profession, surgery has often been behind the curve in encouraging and supporting women to train as surgeons. It is something that the profession has worked hard to address and to hear such outdated and damaging comments in 2014 is embarrassing and alarming. As a College we believe absolutely that a person’s gender should have no bearing in their professional life and as the father of three daughters currently training in healthcare it is a point of view that I also personally reject completely.”

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