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GMC sets targets to end disproportionate complaints against ethnic minority doctors

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1269 (Published 18 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1269
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The General Medical Council has set itself new targets to eliminate disproportionate complaints from employers about ethnic minority doctors by 2026, and to eradicate disadvantage and discrimination in medical education and training by 2031.

Announcing the move on 18 May, the GMC acknowledged “long standing concerns” about the problems within healthcare and said there was “clear evidence of disproportionality”12 over time.

It noted that doctors from ethnic minorities are twice as likely as white doctors to be referred to the GMC by their employers for fitness to practise concerns, while the referral rate for doctors who qualified outside of the UK is three times higher than that for UK doctors.

In education and training, exam pass rates show a 12% difference between white and ethnic minority trainees who graduated in the UK, and a 30% gap for overseas graduates.

The regulator set a range of measures to help meet the targets:

  • - Working with responsible officers—those within employing healthcare organisations who have overall responsibility for helping doctors with revalidation—to make workplaces more inclusive and supportive

  • - Developing an amended referral form to ensure organisations check a referral is appropriate before it is submitted to the GMC

  • - Supporting organisations to understand GMC thresholds for fitness to practise referrals to help ensure fairer outcomes

  • - Requiring action plans from education and training bodies to ensure diversity is better reflected in medical teaching and learning

  • - Using the GMC’s national training survey to help target …

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