Views And Reviews

BMA calls for clarification on EC directive

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 24 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:812
  1. L Beecham

    The chairman of the General Medical Services Committee, Dr Ian Bogle, has asked the NHS Executive to clarify the position of locums, assistants, and deputies in general practice under a European Community directive, which requires that all doctors working in general practice on 1 January 1995 should be vocationally trained. The GMSC says that it was never the intention that these doctors should be included in the 1986 directive and has asked the NHS Executive to confirm this.

    The vocational training regulations were introduced in 1980. Since that date anyone who graduates from a United Kingdom university and wants to enter general practice has had to complete two years in hospital posts and one year in general practice. General practitioner principals who qualified before 1980 and doctors who could show evidence of equivalent experience were exempt. The 1986 directive gave governments eight years to adapt their requirements to the vocational training obligations of general practitioners.

    Recent reports in the press have suggested that many doctors, particularly part time women general practitioners, would lose their jobs. The European Commission in London has emphasised that this is not the case. “Neither practising general practitioners nor part time training for women need be affected by the directive,” the commission says. It says that there is nothing in the directive that bans practising general practitioners from continuing to practise after January 1995. The directive seeks to protect the principle of part time training. “If the government wants to cater for different categories of general practitioners in the NHS,” the commission says, “it is therefore perfectly entitled …

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