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BMA and RCGP demand action to give GPs specialist status

The BMA and RCGP are urging the Government and GMC to take steps to ensure GPs are recognised as specialists and put on equal footing to secondary care doctors.

In a joint statement, GP leaders from each organisation said it was an ‘anachronistic anomaly’ that post-graduate GP training is still not recognised as specialist medical training – unlike in Australia, the USA and Canada, and most of the EU.

The statement, signed by the GPC and RCGP leaders from all four devolved nations, highlighted a recent call from UEMO – the European Union of GPs/Family Physicians) – for all EU countries to recognise general practice as a specialty.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul and RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker, along with their Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland co-representatives, said that such recognition is now ‘long overdue’.

They wrote: ‘It is an anachronistic anomaly that the postgraduate training of general practitioners remains unrecognised in this respect and we call upon the government and GMC to make the changes necessary to add GPs to the List of Specialists and for the status of GPs to be equal to that of their secondary care colleagues’.

It comes after the GPC warned that Brexit could hamper efforts to give GPs the same status as specialists, because the UK will be excluded from a planned EU directive to enforce the measure.