TORIES have called for more males to consider a career in nursing.
Health spokesman Miles Briggs made the plea after figures showed the number of male nurses had fallen for three consecutive years – with the number of men in the job having reached a seven-year low.
Numbers of male nursing staff increased between 2011 and 2014, when they reached a peak of 7,168.
But since then the total has dropped back, with NHS figures showing 6,924 men working in the role in 2017.
Mr Briggs said: “This is clearly a cultural problem, and probably one that exists in many parts of the world.
“But we can make efforts to change that now, to persuade males contemplating career options to man up and go into nursing.
“It would diversify the workforce, something that’s always worth doing, but more importantly help address the recruitment crisis now and in future.
“There is absolutely no reason why men can’t go into nursing, and the days of thinking otherwise are long gone.
“I hope the SNP government considers a recruitment drive of this sort, and it’s something we’d be happy to support fully.”
Health Secretary Shona Robison said a recruitment drive aimed at attracting a “more diverse workforce” into nursing was already been developed.
She stated: “We are leading the way on workforce planning – becoming the first nation in the UK to publish a national health and care workforce plan.
“The Chief Nursing Officer’s Review into Widening Participation into Nursing and Midwifery Education and Careers examined existing routes into nursing and midwifery education and career barriers that may exist; and how to address these.
“A campaign to recruit a more diverse workforce, tackle stereotypical images, and attract more people into nursing and midwifery education and careers is currently being developed.”