There is a documented and well discussed gender pay gap in medicine. The gender pay gap is maximal in surgical specialties, being as high as 50%, and this is after seniority (medicine is bottom heavy in women) and hours worked (women, even doctors, still bear the burden of childrearing) are taken into account. There are a multitude of well studied and well documented reasons for this, but primary among them is that female doctors, at a statistical level, offer longer consultation times than men.
Patients, when surveyed, tend to see female doctors for more complex problems – and, at the end of it, are more likely to discuss their financial difficulties AND subsequently be bulk billed as a consequence. Female procedural specialists tend to be referred complex non-procedural problems because of the perception that women are better communicators while the “simple” procedures are sent to male specialists.
Again, these complex patients are more likely to have financial issues and be bulk billed. Resulting in persistent gender pay gaps in medicine, even though women increasingly have the seniority and do the hours of our male colleagues.
At this particular clinic, in recognition of the fact that they often do see more complex patients, it is my understanding that the female GPs all elected to book four patients an hour – and the male GPs all decided to book six patients an hour. So while the fee for a female GP appears higher, those GPs still earn $1000 less a day than their male colleagues, and are now being vilified for it.