Hunt pledges to eradicate gender pay gap in NHS doctors

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered a review into how much the NHS in England pays male and female doctors in an effort to eliminate the 15% gender pay gap. 

The review will be led by Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians.

Male NHS doctors in England receive an average salary of £67,788 in basic pay, compared with an average salary of £57,569 earned by female NHS doctors, according to figures from NHS Digital.

While women comprise just under half of the medical profession, there are significantly more men than women occupying the most senior positions; for example, only 36% of consultants are women, according to NHS figures. These data also showed that men are more likely to receive additional pay, such as clinical excellence awards.

Dacre’s review will examine a broad range of factors, including family care arrangements, shared parental leave and access to flexible working. It will also look at the predominance of men in senior roles, and the impact of pay awards.

Hunt said the gender pay gap had “no place in a modern employer or the NHS”, adding that he was determined to eliminate it.

Dacre said she was “grateful for the government’s commitment to act on the recommendations of the review,” which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

In May 2018, the General Pharmaceutical Council revealed that its male employees earned, on average, 14.2% more than its female employees, with a median gender pay gap of 16.5% in favour of men. The regulator said it planned to take a “number of actions” to tackle the discrepancy.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204929

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