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Medicopolitical Digest

BMA supports medical majority on GMCGMC continues discussions on its structureWelsh LHGs could do better

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 22 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:245

BMA supports medical majority on GMC

The BMA council has resolved that there should be a medical majority on the General Medical Council.

In a recorded vote the council defeated, by 33 votes to 13, an amendment that there should be an equal nmber of medical and lay members. Proposing the amendment, Dr Michael Wilks, chairman of the medical ethics committee, said that in the past few years the GMC had failed in its purpose of protecting patients and a concept of partnership should be supported.

Dr Peter Hawker, chairman of the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee, seconded the amendment. It would not, he said, undermine professionalism. It would restore the public's confidence in the GMC. “Equality is right and inevitable,” he said.

Medical decisions were increasingly made in partnership, Dr Judy Gilley, secretary of Hertfordshire local medical committees, told the council. “Only by arguing for equality now will we guard against demands for a lay majority,” she said.

“Equality will create ambiguity”

Several GMC members opposed the amendment. Dr Fay Wilson, a GP in Birmingham, urged the council to distinguish between patients and the public. “Equality will create only ambiguity,” she argued. The public did not judge the GMC on its structure …

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