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PJ Online | News: GMC rules will match other regulators'

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 269 No 7225 p734
23 November 2002

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DoH: Reform of the General Medical Council (more)


GMC rules will match other regulators'

The Government has made minor changes to the proposed regulations which will govern the modernised General Medical Council, following public consultations.

The main objective of the GMC in exercising its functions will be "to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public". This is in line with the provisions made for the Nursing and Midwifery and the Health Professions Councils.

The GMC will have to co-operate with public authorities and other bodies concerned with the employment and training of doctors, including the medical colleges. It will have a duty to inform the public about its work and will have to publish a register of members' interests.

However, the GMC will not have to consult the Council for the Regulation of Health Care Professionals about every change it wants to make to its own rules.

The changes were announced by the Department of Health after formal consultation on a draft Order drawn up under Section 60 of the Health Act 1999. These drafts must be published at least three months before being laid before Parliament and the results of any consultations must also be published.

The Department said that only around 70 responses had been received from over 1,200 invitations to comment on the draft Order. However, it also noted that the proposals were subject to earlier consultation by the GMC itself.

The changes will now be incorporated in the Medical Act 1983 (Amendment) Order 2002. Most of the major changes announced in the draft Order remain substantially as proposed (PJ, 25 May, p709). These include the need for doctors to have licences to practise medicine, which must be revalidated periodically.

Under the General Medical Council (Constitution) Order 2002, the GMC will be reduced from 104 to 35 members, of whom 19 will be elected, two appointed (one by university medical schools and one by the colleges), and 14 nominated (or lay) members. All the existing members of the GMC will have to stand down but they can seek re-election, appointment or nomination as appropriate.

Copies of the consultation documents and the proposed Order can be downloaded from here.

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