Milburn's Move Will Undermine The General Medical Council

October 09, 1998

Repositioning self regulation. The influence of the GMC is leaking away

In an editorial in this week's BMJ, editor Dr Richard Smith writes that the timing of British government's proposal to modify the legislative procedure governing professional regulatory bodies is suspicious. The announcement has been made with little or no consultation with the profession. The author believes that in the wake of the Bristol case and in advance of the public enquiry next year, the government is strengthening its ability to respond to any public outrage, by quickly changing the legislation governing the General Medical Council (GMC). Dr Smith concludes that even though the government insists that its proposals are benign and simply a "tidying up exercise" of a lengthy process, the temptation to use the new legislation in the future to reduce the power of the GMC "may one day prove irresistible".


Dr Richard Smith, Editor, BMJ, Tavistock Square, London email:


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