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Health Insight May 2002: GPs:  can I see your licence please?

  Every practising doctor in the UK will need a licence under government plans to create a safer NHS for patients. They will have to submit evidence, collected over a five-year period, to the regulatory body the General Medical Council (GMC); this must show that their practice is up to date and of a high standard. Provided they meet set standards, they will retain their licence to practise. Doctors who do not wish to take part or do not reach the required standards will not get a licence, so they wonít be allowed to treat patients or prescribe for them. It will be a criminal offence to pretend to have a licence.

The licence to practise is a key component of reforms to the GMC, which will help the council provide better protection for patients from under-performing doctors and make it a more open and accountable organisation. The proposals have been developed by the GMC in consultation with patients and the medical profession. They form part of the governmentís modernised approach to regulation as set out in the NHS Plan of July 2000.

Source: Press release (DoH)

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