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GPs frustrated by long waiting lists for vital patient services

As the subject of your lead story ('GP's illness exposed on GMC website', News, August 20 ) I would like to respond to Dr Simon Fisher (Letters, September 3) as I am so incensed by his comments.

With all due to respect to Dr Fisher, I believe he has totally missed the point of the original story.

To clarify matters for him, and as a suggestion that in future he should get his facts correct about the policies of the GMC before making such ill-informed opinions:

·Interim order hearings are held in private.

·The GMC has stated policies with regard to what it publishes on its website.

·The stated policies are: all practice-related restrictions/conditions imposed on a doctor's registration will be published. However, all conditions relating exclusively to a doctor's health will not be disclosed.

·These policies were breached in my case and that is the issue being addressed here.

Whether or not Dr Fisher agrees with the GMC's policies is for him to decide, but the GMC, as a regulatory body, has a duty to adhere to its own stated policies at all times.

Also, the inference from that letter ­ that the GP affected was the same as a convictedprisoner with mental health issues being sent to a psychiatric hospital ­ was extremely distasteful and just higlights the stigma and prejudice that exists within the medical profession itself, regarding doctors with mental health problems.

Name and Address supplied

Pulse made reference to 'Fears grow on sick doctor disclosures' in the same edition that Dr Fisher's letter was printed. These new proposals, if accepted, may well increase the reluctance of doctors with mental health issues to seek appropriate help, to the detriment of the public and profession alike.

Unfortunately, Dr Fisher's letter, and his comparison made between sick doctors and criminals, was distasteful and hurtful to colleagues who are experiencing mental health problems, and to others who are not.

We hope Dr Fisher never has to experience a mental health problem and then find it exacerbated by unhelpful and stigmatising comments.

If other colleagues are in such a position,we suggest they make contact with the Doctors Support Network (www.dsn.org.uk) or the Doctors Support Line (0870 765001) where they will find helpful and genuine support.

Doctors Support Network

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