Six out of ten doctors in Britain do not have adequate access to affordable childcare, forcing many to put their careers on hold, the British Medical Association has warned.
The BMA poll found that four out of 10 doctors felt access to childcare provision had an effect on their career progression, with a similar proportion saying that 24-hour childcare would be the answer to their problems.
Childcare provision by the NHS could no longer be pushed to the margins of the health service, the BMA warned.
The association is also warning that doctors are being forced out of healthcare altogether because of the lack of adequate provision and are demanding a rethink of NHS childcare provision because of its key role in recruitment and retention.
London hospital anaesthetist Simon Minkoff said: "In a time of 24-hour healthcare it is amazing that the NHS still only provides limited places and limited hours at its nurseries and creches."
Doctors are not the only professionals to complain that childcare is hampering their career progression.
In March a poll by the Corporation of London found one in three working parents in the City were considering giving up work to care for their children because of the constant struggle to balance their working life with childcare.