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Profession 'in danger of over-regulation' MDU warns

By Emily Corfe

The medical profession is in danger of becoming over-regulated, the Medical Defence Union (MDU) has warned.

The MDU warned further regulation - including plans to introduce GMC affiliates, responsible officers, and recorded concerns - will not improve standards of patient care or safety.

Their latest annual report and accounts, published today, warned that the planned additional regulation of GPs and other medical professions are unnecessary, unwelcome and have not been properly considered.

Dr Christopher Evans, chairman of the MDU's board of management, said: ‘More constructive use should be made of existing procedures and of other mechanisms that exist for measuring and assessing doctors' performance and conduct, with the aim of taking remedial action before serious concerns arise.'

Dr Evans also wrote that creating new means to closely regulate the medical profession through the new proposed GMC affiliates, responsible officers and recorded concerns, could in fact costs millions of pounds.

He said: ‘we suggested in 2006 that the department of health prepared comparative costings, but we have seen no evidence that this was done.'

Dr Peter Schutte, head of advisory services, argued that recorded concerns that are not serious enough to doubt a doctor's ability to practice but could be view by the general public may disrupt a doctor's reputation and could affect future career prospects.

He also stated: ‘there is no evidence that there would be a proper independent investigation before a concern is recorded or that doctors would have a right to representation and response.'

The MDU have warned over professional over-regulation

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