The General Medical Council was established in 1858. It is a registered charity, registration with it is mandatory for any doctor who wishes to work, and it is answerable to no-one. For many years the many unsatisfactory aspects of the GMC were justified to doctors by assertions that the existence of the GMC constituted “self regulation” of the profession, and that this was preferable to state regulation. This self regulation is also the reason why it is financed by the doctors themselves through the annual retention fee.
What few seem to have noticed however is that this concept of self regulation has been eroded by stealth. Over the years more and more positions within the GMC have been filled by non medical individuals. On at least one occasion an individual was appointed known to have a pathological animosity towards the medical profession, and one doctor in particular. Only half of the 24 members of the council itself are medically qualified. Although the Chair of the Council is a doctor, the real power resides with the Chief Executive, Mr Niall Dickson, who has been a teacher, a medical journalist, and CE of a Quango. Not a doctor then.
So now we have only the illusion of self regulation, and a GMC seemingly intent on making life as difficult as possible for doctors. Not content with tyrannising us at work they are now even suggesting they should regulate our personal lives as well, as is detailed here.
True to form, the fact that these suggestions would constitute breaches of articles 8, 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act is being ignored but the GMC have always had this attitude that they are somehow above the law. However in this case they would also be in breach of their own policy as laid out below; (found on another bloggers site, thanks to RP)
"In January 1999 the Standards Committee of the GMC met to consider issues involving the behaviour of doctors who comment in the media. It was their view that the GMC should not attempt to curtail doctors' rights to express their personal opinions. Doctors, like anyone else commenting in the media, are subject to the same constraints imposed by media regulatory bodies, and the libel laws. Furthermore, the committee considered that the professionals reputation depends principally on the standards of care and conduct provided by doctors to their patients, and not on personal opinions as put forward in published letters or articles. Whilst you may disagree with the comments Dr Y has made, we cannot take action against a doctor who is expressing a personal opinion".
So not only are they malicious, tyrannical and vindictive, they are illogical, inconsistent and incompetent with it. Why do we put up with them?