Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Observations Body Politic

A discriminating judgment

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 14 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a809

Rapid Response:

'Retired Dcotors':Why Do They Want to be on GMC Register(and have it free)?

I am puzzled as to why some retired doctors wish to be on the medical register, especially if they have given up medical practice completely.Perhaps, someone could enlighten me about the real reason/s for a fully retired doctor to be listed on the register. Of course, I am aware of exceptional circumstances where a retired doctor's services may be needed, but from the GMC President's response(23 July 2008) it is clear that adequate provision had been made to deal with such scenarios**.

With regard to the registration fee for those who still wish to be on the register(for whatever reason),I think it is entirely reasonable to impose such fee but the amount of fee may be proportionately graded to reflect the amount of professional/clinical activity of the respective 'retired doctor'.The argument that there should be honorary(free) membership for retired doctors is unlikely to be taken seriously in any independent forum; after all, the GMC is not a private club or trade association of doctors, though some may have pandered to such perceptions in the past.

**by recent changes to the Medical Act 1983 which empower the Registrar of the GMC to grant temporary registration, without any fee, to individuals or groups of individuals, with regard to emergencies involving loss of human life or human illness.

Competing interests:
Retired,under 65

Competing interests: No competing interests

31 July 2008
Jay Ilangaratne