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GPs win battle for extra Choose and Book cash

While anyone who is subject to the attention of the gutter press has my sympathy, I feel the GMC cannot be accused of making a 'colossal blunder' (News/Comment, August 20) by publishing full details of an interim order against a GP.

GMC fitness to practise hearings are open to public observers and the decisions are announced in public. Interim order proceedings, often the stage before a full fitness to practise hearing, also make their decisions public. In the 21st century the logical way to publish this information is via the internet. This transparency and lack of secrecy benefits, I believe, the profession and public alike.

The GP referred to was required by an interim order panel, apparently among other things, to remain under the care of a consultant psychiatrist. The GMC then quite properly published this decision on its website. To publish anything other than the full interim order would be to withhold information and compromise openness.

In terms of revealing confidential information, the GMC has acted no differently from a law court that makes public its decision to send a prisoner to a psychiatric hospital. Clearly this reveals that the prisoner has mental health issues but there are no calls to make court decisions and sentences secret.

I have no doubt the GP in this case has been harmed, but the party responsible for that is the newspaper and not the GMC.

Dr Simon Fisher

Freelance GP

Newcastle upon Tyne

·How much worse can it get? The GMC breaches a doctor's medical confidentiality by publishing details on the web, including the nature of the illness, and the press have a field day, destroying the doctor's reputation and probably livelihood.

If this is part of the reflex action post-Shipman, it might be worth reminding the GMC it could have nipped it in the bud by removing him from the register as a convicted opiate abuser. Instead it allowed him access to controlled drugs.

Human rights lawyers must have a view on its latest venture and I for one would contribute to a fund to enable the doctor to pursue the GMC through the courts.

The best of it is the GMC does not run on public money, we finance it. It shows itself to be nothing more than a Gilbertian farce and it should be replaced.

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