Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The GMC and Doctors

I think it fair to say that the 'Jobbing Doctor' has been pretty scathing about the General Medical Council in the past. With a lot of justification, as they combined a unique combination of not acting well enough when doctors are guilty of professional misconduct, and being intensely bureaucratic when clear action is needed. Ignoring great problems, and pursuing pettyfogging ones. Hanging many doctors out to dry, particularly those from the Indian subcontinent.

The GMC used to be a council of one's peers, whom you could vote in (and out) at regular elections, and they set the barriers to professionalism reasonably high.

One of the greatest sins of a doctor when I qualified is advertising/soliciting for work - this was one of the "Big 3" sins - which were advertising, adultery and addiction/alcohol.

Well, preventing advertising did not fit in with the great new world of Thatcherite markets in services, and was duly dropped (doubtless under pressure from the Government), and is now - frankly - encouraged.

The GMC then became an organisation of appointment, by the Government. Those invited to sit on it were often servile lackeys, time-expired has-beens, those in wait for an honour of some sort, and not those whom Jobbing Doctors could admire and respect: it has been run by an ex-journalist for the last few years.

One of the more pleasant letters I wrote was one to the GMC saying that I was relinquishing my registration voluntarily (without a stain on my character) and telling them what I thought of them. They didn't reply to my letter.

Now they are entering the current fray, firmly on the side of Jeremy Hunt and the Government, implying that Junior Doctors would be wrong to withdraw their labour for 2 days next week. This is a nakedly political decision, heavily influenced by the Department of Health [the worst Department in Whitehall], under the direction of the people who are in the process of wrecking our National Health Service.

They are a disgrace.