Following the publication of the UK government's junior doctors' contract and equality analysis, the RCP and Royal College of Surgeons have issued a joint statement highlighting the detrimental impact it will have on women in the profession.
As female presidents of medical royal colleges we have worked hard to encourage women to enter and remain in the medical profession. We have dedicated our careers to ensuring that medicine is an accessible and sustainable career for all.
Yesterday the junior doctors’ contract and the government’s equality impact assessment were published. We are very concerned by the language in the government’s own equality analysis of the contract, which warns that features of the new contract 'impact disproportionately on women'.
Recent commitments from government to support women in business are greatly welcome. We view the wording of the equality analysis as incompatible with this approach. We now look to the government to reflect on how we can encourage, not discourage, our female workforce to stay in the NHS and continue to deliver high-quality care for patients.
Every single medical royal college president has already called for both sides in the dispute to step back from the brink by suspending imposition of the contract and the all-out strike. We reiterate this message today and urge a return to negotiations to find a long-term solution that supports the NHS.
Professor Jane Dacre, president, Royal College of Physicians
Miss Clare Marx, president, Royal College of Surgeons