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Catto rejects GMC 'cosy club' image

GMC president Sir Graeme Catto has defended the council against accusations that it is still a 'cosy club' for doctors.

In a debate with the

Consumers Association, Sir Graeme was accused of heading a body that is failing to protect the public interest and is perceived as being run 'for doctors by doctors'.

The GMC faces a damning report by the Shipman Inquiry later this year and has also seen its role diminished by the new super-regulator, the Council for the Regulation of Healthcare Professionals.

Sir Graeme admitted the GMC was 'not out of the woods yet' but insisted professionally-led regulation, which was independent of the Government, the NHS and employers, could act as a benchmark to the rest of the world.

He added that any move away from self-regulation would alienate doctors and also defended the introduction of revalidation.

'There is no other country linking doctors' licences to practise to their ability to work as a doctor,' he said. 'It's being led by the UK and watched with very great interest in this country and worldwide.'

Frances Blunden, principal policy adviser for the Consumers Association, said it was 'outmoded practice' to have separate regulators for each medical profession.

She added it was difficult to see how the GMC could be the 'proper custodian' of the public interest while it is completely funded by doctors.

'Professionally-led regulation is no longer the cosy club it was but it needs more light into its inner recesses,' she added.

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