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Every doctor will have to undergo a medical to prove their fitness to practise under GMC proposals for revalidation.

Draft guidance out to consultation until the end of this week states doctors need a health declaration counter-signed by another clinician.

The aim is to ensure doctors' performance is not hampered by any physical or mental illness. But GPs warned the requirement could lead people to hide problems such as stress, depression or drug misuse.

They also raised workload concerns because GPs would end up carrying out medicals for more than 100,000 doctors.

In its response to the GMC consultation, the RCGP called for doctors to be allowed to self-certify their health.

Dr Maureen Baker, honorary secretary of the college, said getting a counter-

signature 'added nothing'.

She said: 'If a doctor has health problems and takes appropriate action through current mechanisms, that's safer than a doctor not seeking assistance on the grounds they think their livelihood could be jeopardised.'

At present doctors do not have to give a health declaration when they register with the GMC.

Dr Nick Plant, professional executive committee chair of Dudley South PCT, said the latest proposal for revalidation was ill conceived. 'Most people are honest about their health but once it starts being certified they are going to clam up,' he said.

Dr Alisdair Young, vice chair of the Sick Doctors trust, added: 'This is wonderfully vague and meaningless.'

The GMC said it would consider the RCGP's concerns.

By Ian Cameron

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