Letter: Pay in the NHS

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While I appreciate the pragmatic philosophy behind the argument of your leading article "How to recruit more nurses" (13 August) and have little doubt that it could prove effective, is it not a sad reflection on our society that the only way to raise salaries in a profession long recognised as underpaid is to "masculinise" it?

It seems that whilst women remain in the majority, in any profession or area of work, pay will remain low, and it is only by minimising their number that pay can be raised. In industry, the personnel department, previously the traditional "women's department", undervalued and underpaid, has been revamped as Human Resource Development and Consultancy, winning a new status and a new - masculine - profile. Will the New Nurse be known as a nurse, or will his new status and new salary similarly require a new nomenclature?

I wonder to which department in the medical arena women will be shunted, no doubt bringing with them their accustomed low pay.

SARAH MULHOLLAND

Nottingham

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