Scotland has more women GPs than men for the first time in its history, new data have shown.
In 2009, women made up 50.7% of the profession, with the total number of family doctors rising to 4,941, from 4,456 in 2004.
There has also been a significant increase in proportion of trainee GPs, but no figures showed whether the equivalent number of fulltime doctors had grown as well.
Part-time positions have become more common in recent years, partly because many women wish to reduce their hours after having children, so it may be that a higher number of doctors does not lead to more GP availability.
“It is important that we measure numbers of whole-time equivalent staff because that is relevant in terms of planning,” said a British Medical Association in Scotland spokeswoman.
Liberal Democrat Health spokesman Ross Finnie said: “The large increase in the number of GPs could make a real difference to patient care, if doctors are targeted to patient need.”
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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