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GPC defends GPs over absenteeism attack

The GPC has rebutted criticism of GPs in a new report that blames the profession for its part in the growing problem of long-term employee absenteeism.

The report from the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) said GPs manage two-thirds of long-term absence from work but only one in 10 employers consider they provide the most effective means of support.

Research carried out by the EEF and the IRS Employment Review concluded that companies feel the NHS and GPs are failing to support their efforts in tackling long-term employee absence.

Dr Sayeed Khan, the EEF's chief medical adviser, said: 'There is a fundamental problem around the lack of training of GPs in occupational health.'

One employer commented that GPs should be taken to task over colluding with the 'so-called stress epidemic'.

GPC negotiator Dr Andrew Dearden criticised the 'unfair' comments and said GPs were not there for the benefit of employers. 'GPs are always going to err on the side of the patient,' he said. 'That's what we do.'

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