Editorials

GMC: approaching the abyss

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7296.1196 (Published 19 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1196

Still worth saving? Perhaps, perhaps not

  1. Richard Smith, editor
  1. BMJ

    The General Medical Council—unloved by patients, government, and doctors—is close to the abyss. What might push it over the edge in the next two months is the issue of its governance, 1 2 or if that doesn't get it revalidation might.3 The question that occurs to many is whether the council is worth all the effort necessary to save it. Might it be better to scrap what's become a dysfunctional organisation and start again?

    The question of governance has the leaders of the GMC (and perhaps the government and some patient organisations) on one side and all the rest of doctors' organisations on the other. Yet there is still more agreement than disagreement. All the doctors agree that the council should be smaller, the proportion of lay members increased, and the council made more effective and efficient. The disagreement centres on the relative position and size of the bodies at the top. The GMC wants a small body at the top with the statutory powers and a larger body underneath. The BMA and the colleges want a larger, …

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