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British GP unable to work in NHS as GMC says laws are 'not fit for purpose'


Status: -British National, British trained (Edinburgh) and a principal in UK GP practice for 7 years before leaving to practice in Canada. In 2004, after 30 yrs has a full-time, full service (including hospital in-patient care) GP in Canada, I decided to do UK Locum GP work. Although it took around 6 months, various documentation and a fee, GMC allowed me to transfer from the Overseas list to the Active List - but only then advised this did not permit me to practice - I would require a Certificate to Practice. A very long story shortened: of all the 'categories' to obtain the Certificate, 'Equivalence' (as per Dr. Trash) was the only option. Equivalence meaning being able to show that one's training and experience was equivalent to the then GP vocational training programme. The 'Acquired Rights' route, which one would have thought would be applicable based on UK training and UK GP practice, was deemed not to apply and was only available to graduates from the EU, whether or not they could speak English (in 2004 there was no requirement to show English language proficiency). Over a 4yr period, 2004 - 2008, all involved 'Committees' maintained that, despite having produced evidence of full & continued Medical Education programmes and peer references of a high quality professional practice, I did not qualify for Equivalence and would need 6 months training the UK practice before a Certificate could be issued. Needless to say, politely, I told the GMC & their Committees to shove it and challenged their decisions by dragging them to the NHS Litigation Authority. The dossier they presented to the Authority to defend their actions contained factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations, lies really. Outcome: - NHS Litigation Authority took time to review the situation but ruled in my favour and, again putting it politely, advised the 'talking heads' to get their heads out of the sand and immediately issue me with a Certificate to Practice'. GMC took their time but did so. So, 4 years is a long time - but as they say, 'it's never over until the fat lady sings'. In 2008, I returned to UK locum GP practice and then had to deal with Appraisals &, finally, Recertification -successfully. Along the way, a frequently heard comment from friends and peers was 'You must be mad'. They could have been right - but: - Illegitimi Non Carborundum.

Posted date

05 Dec 2019

Posted time