Zyra's website //// Watchdog //// Health //// Site Index

GMC - the General Medical Council


GMC - the General Medical Council - is supposed to be the governing organisation of doctors in the UK. Doctors have to be approved by the GMC to be allowed to practice medicine in the UK.

In theory at least, if a doctor commits a grievous act of medical neglect, they can be "STRUCK OFF", after which they are no longer allowed to carry on in the doctor's job.

Also, as the GMC is supposed to be there to be a guide to good practice, doctors have to do the right thing, and if they don't, they can be sent a warning by the GMC.

Every GP (General Practitioner) in UK has a unique GMC membership number, like the licences plate on cars, and you can find out the numbers from doctor's surgery and the GMC's database and cross-reference them so make sure the doctor isn't a fraud.

Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with cases of doctors making mistakes, whether accidentally or out of malice, you may find the GMC to be disappointing. Even if your doctor has put your life at risk, caused undue suffering or inconvenience in your life, and even if the error is plain to see to anyone with a grain of sense even without being medically qualified, the GMC might not be very helpful. Although this may make it look as if the GMC is just there to help doctors watch out for each other and to close ranks against the patients, there is a more rational explanation: The GMC's time is all used-up dealing with very serious cases, for example where a doctor has neglectfully caused the death of a number of patients, so there is no time left to bother with your own complaint where your life has merely been put at risk and your lifestyle mucked-up by the wilful or neglectful misbehaviour or a doctor. eg. DVLment

In case you're interested, the opinion I have (as a patient) about the GMC, is that it is a back patting club for doctors, run by doctors, for doctors, and never mind the patients! This opinion has been formed by personal experience. After putting in a serious complaint to the GMC about a doctor, I found the GMC's persistent failure to do anything, and their loss of the paperwork, and "forgetting" about the case, and behaving in ways reminiscent of an evasive attitude, meant I felt I could only conclude that the General Medical Council was a back-patting hand-shaking club for doctors, a clique supporting the interests of their members. This is in contrast to what I hoped the GMC was, a watchdog of good practice in the medical profession!

However, if you would like to put a complaint in, here's the contact information:

GMC - General Medical Council
UK 0161 923 6602
If calling from outside the UK +44 (0)161 923 6602
website
www.gmc-uk.org

Good luck! I hope you live to see the problem solved!

Incidentally, on the matter of a doctor being "struck off", there is a popular misconception that it's a permanent situation like being hanged, whereas in truth the situation with doctors who are formally struck off by the GMC is more theatrically like when a character is killed on stage, they come back behind the scenes to perform again later.