Blowing the whistle at work
Medical information about doctors under GMC supervision for ill-health must remain confidential, responses to the council's health review report consultation have warned.
The Sick Doctors Trust and Doctors Support Network both cautioned that revealing health information to patients would cause doctors to hide problems.
The GMC has come under fire from doctors after it revealed details of at least one GP's medical supervision on its website as part of a policy of helping patients access fitness to practise information.
Dr Lizzie Miller, secretary of the Doctors Support Network, said: 'Personal medical information must remain confidential if the GMC is to have the confidence of the medical profession.'
She added that the GMC's plans to introduce health standards ran the risk of declaring large numbers of doctors unfit for work.
Dr Alasdair Young, vice-chair of the Sick Doctors Trust, said there was an implication in the GMC's policies that any doctor who was being reviewed as a result of ill-health was also going to be subject to conduct and performance reviews.
'This seems to be happening in the public domain by intention or accident,' he said.
The trust's submission also called for a mechanism to challenge the GMC's actions, and 'the judgments of its employees'.
The BMA's response to the consultation, which closed this week, advised the GMC to make better use of doctors with expertise in the field of mental health and addictions.
Dr Michael Wilks, chair of the BMA's ethics committee, said there were some inconsistencies in the GMC's approach but it had improved.
'But doctors who have been through the GMC's health procedures know it can be very variable with long delays,' he added.