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Gold, incentives and meh

GMC named as defendant in judicial review over MRCGP exam

The GMC has been dragged into the legal row over the MRCGP exam after a High Court judge ruled it was ‘arguable’ that the regulator had failed in its duties with regards to equality legislation.

Mrs Justice Patterson said that no equality assessment of the exam had been carried out by the GMC and - despite the regulator commissioning a major independent review by racism expert Professor Esmail - there was’ uncertainty in my mind’ about whether it had done enough since finding out about the differential rates.

The judge dismissed the argument that the GMC’s decision to approve the exam was taken in December 2010 – and therefore too long ago to be subject to a judicial review – and agreed that it was arguable that the GMC had an ongoing role in approving the exam.

However, Mrs Justice Patterson said that the GMC would not have to face allegations of direct or indirect discrimination. If it was guilty of this, she argued, then the correct forum to hear such cases would be employment appeals tribunals.

It was revealed in court that there are around 50 employment appeals on the issue ready to be heard. However, it is believed that these will not be heard until after the judicial review has concluded.

A previous hearing ruled that the GMC should be not a defendant in the judicial review being brought against the RCGP by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

But this ruling means that the GMC will have to defend its actions over the differential pass rates between UK and international medical graduates in a judicial review likely to be heard early in the new year.

The judicial review will look charges that the clinical skills examination component of the MRCGP directly or indirectly discriminates against international medical graduates. The date for the full judicial hearing has not yet been confirmed, but it will last three days.

Paul Philip, acting chief executive of the GMC, said: ‘We accept today’s decision by Mrs Justice Patterson to give limited permission to include the General Medical Council within the scope of the Judicial Review. This permission relates solely to public sector equality duty. We will look carefully at the Judge’s Order.

‘We will not be commenting further on this ahead of the hearing

‘We accept today’s decision by Mrs Justice Patterson to give limited permission to include the General Medical Council within the scope of the Judicial Review.

‘This permission relates solely to public sector equality duty. We will look carefully at the Judge’s Order. We will not be commenting further on this ahead of the hearing.’

Readers' comments (29)

  • Prof Ismail absolutely right in saying subconscious bias affects all of us but we try and not let it affect our day to day consultations. But when it crushes hope and aspirations we must reflect and reanalyse where things can be changed.

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  • From a Freedom Information Act request

    Names of doctors who died following referral to GMC and ethnicity

    Asian or Asian British = 4
    Mixed = 1
    Other ethnic group = 3
    White = 19
    Unknown = 64
    Black or Black British = 1

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/names_of_doctors_who_died_follow

    Confidential enquiry into the deaths of doctors subject to fitness to practice investigations by the General Medical Council:-

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54034

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  • I find it disturbing that Clare Gerada is sending out a constant stream of propaganda in favour of the RCGP and against IMG's. Should this be allowed when the RCGP is under the judicial spotlight?? Isn't it for the court to decide?

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  • I am glad that at last GMC is under scrutiny by media and legal profession on the issue of Racism. In the past GMC's action on this issue has been questionable and could be seen racist especially when GMC de- recognised the medical degree of Harare(Salisbury)medical school after the recognition of independence of Zimbabwe(Rhodesia) from UK in 1980 immediately for full registration as the country was run by majority black government. Their degree was recognised between the period of 1965 -1980 when the country declared unilateral independence in 1965 and run by conservative white minority government. The reason was never been explained why the standard of the medical school deteriorated over night to get the status of de-recognition. I am sure , There are many examples one may find if the GMC's archives are looked at.

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  • Thank you Sunil for sharing this: I wasn't aware of this fact.

    BAPIO - something for your team to pick on.

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  • I think the whole mindset in this country needs to change.....change from top to bottom and to accept and integrate minority groups....otherwise it is going to stagnate holding onto colonial and imperialistic past.
    I say this with true sadness in my heart as I see our little kids being affected in the same way.....My nephew was not selected to his school rugby team although he was good at it. So when did this country decide that rugby was a white man's game???......feel so sorry for my young lad. Now he's not interested in any team sport nor is he interested in school. I wish things were different for him!!

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  • Is GMC fit to practice ????

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  • Has the GMC not got any tricks up its sleeve like the RCGP??? any new papers, research or a conjurer like CG?? The mind games some people play!! Shame on the whole system.

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