As GP leaders warn that a series of doctors have been prevented from returning to clinical practice because they have been unable to obtain indemnity insurance, one GP speaks out.
I was erased from the GMC register for five years after a conviction for financial mismanagement.
My medical defence subscription stopped during that period as there was no guarantee I was going to return to medicine – many doctors in that position are so dispirited that they don’t. But my medical defence organisation supported me to reapply to the GMC when the five years was up on the basis that the case that led to my suspension had happened when I was still a member.
With my medical defence organisation’s support the GMC reinstated me unconditionally. Once I had the GMC certificate I was ready to return to practise. But my medical defence body – the same one that had defended and represented me – turned me down for indemnity. I then applied to the other medical defence bodies and received blanket rejections.
It was devastating. I felt like I’d wasted five years of my life trying to get back into the profession that I had trained for. I had no income. I’d managed to get the highest ticket back in again from the highest medical authority, the GMC, only to be thrown back out again because I couldn’t get indemnity. Without insurance I couldn’t work as a GP.
Eventually I did manage to get cover from one of the medical defence organsiations – at a high premium. But after what happened to me, after it taking so much to come back, it makes me wonder how many bona fide qualified doctors are out there that just can’t get insurance? Even at this stage I don’t have the income to cover my fees for the next year. But I have to bite the bullet and keep trying. I have worked so hard to get back in.’