Intended for healthcare professionals

Medicopolitical Digest

Public health conferenceJunior doctors conferenceNumber of doctors' suspensions risePrivate consultants may increase waiting lists

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 17 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1674

Public health conference

See News p 1626

Proposals for revalidation attacked

Public health doctors believe that the General Medical Council's proposals for revalidation are flawed and unnecessary. And the opposition to the proposals was largely responsible for the overwhelming vote of no confidence in the GMC (see p 1626).

At last week's conference of doctors in public health and community health Dr Charles Saunders, chairman of the Scottish Committee for Public Health Medicine and Community Health, said that the proposals were confusing and would not prevent any of the disasters that had occurred in the past few years. “It is window dressing, like the Food Standards Agency.” He suggested tearing up the proposals and starting again.

Many public health doctors have different roles or work in very specialised areas. They wanted to know how they would be revalidated and who would do the revalidation. Dr Clive Richards (Trent) said that he would have to go through the hoops as a general practitioner and as a public health doctor.

Dr John Kemm from Wales said that dissatisfaction with the GMC's document should not be interpreted as dissatisfaction with revalidation. He wanted it introduced for all doctors.

“Is revaliation now necessary?”

The only public health doctor on the GMC, and former chairman of the BMA council, Sir Alexander Macara, said that he was out of tune with the current GMC leadership and had called for the consultation document on revalidation to be referred back. He said that he was disturbed by the impression that no reforms were made before the case of the paediatric heart surgeons in Bristol. There had been support for reaccreditation, and the previous president had introduced the performance review procedures. “The pace of reform might have been faster but the intention was there,” he said. Sir Alexander queried whether revalidation was necessary now that clinical governance and appraisal …

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