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Thousands of GPs facing 'five figure' remediation bill

By Lilian Anekwe

GPs who fail the RCGP's revalidation programme are likely to have to find sums running to tens of thousands of pounds to fund the cost of their own remediation, the GPC is warning.

Thousands of GPs could be faced with having to pay for remediation, with Pulse revealing earlier this year that projections suggested as many as one GP in seven would face some form of retraining under the scheme.

The National Clinical Assessment Service has told the GPC that GPs who fall short of new revalidation standards when they come into force in 2011 and need remediation would be expected to pay ‘five figure sums' for the extra training.

The GPC warned the potentially prohibitive costs of remediation could prompt thousands of GPs to quit general practice.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chair, said proposals from deaneries would require that GPs should pay at least some – and in some cases all – of the costs of remediation.

Dr Buckman said: ‘We are concerned that the cost should not fall on GPs. The only idea we have of expense is what NCAS tell us – that it can be very, very expensive, in the five figures.

‘There have been some proposals by some deaneries that the person being remediated should bear some or all of the cost. But the costs we are talking about would make you stop in your tracks and think whether it was worth bothering at all. A lot of people – if the sum is high enough – will say "that's not worth it".'

Instead, Dr Buckman said it should be down to the Government to foot the bill. ‘Helping doctors who are struggling is society's responsibility. I think if the state pays for someone to be trained, then it is the states duty to make sure the training is adequate and they are safe to practise.'

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman warned GPs will have to pay sums running into 'five figures' GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman warned GPs will have to pay sums running into 'five figures'

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