BMA launches legal action against GMC over physician associates

28th June 2024 by NASGP

BMA launches legal action against GMC over physician associates

GPs could stop paying GMC fees if the regulator ignores doctors’ concerns about the regulation of physician associates (PAs), the BMA has warned after it launched legal action against the regulator.

The union has launched a claim for a judicial review against the GMC’s use of the phrase ‘medical professional’ to describe associates.

At its Annual Representatives Meeting, members voted to pass a motion to explore withdrawing fees from the GMC if it fails to address concerns, Pulse reported.

Members at the ARM also called for the BMA to formally complain to the Charity Commission about the GMC’s charitable status, as its charter promises to  ensure ‘that only properly qualified people are registered as medical practitioners by promoting high standards in medical education’.

Last week the RCGP advised GPs to stop hiring PAs.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair and GP, said: “The launch of legal action due, in part, to the use of a simple phrase may sound like something out of a Hollywood tabloid. But in this case what the GMC is doing is an existential threat to the very sense and purpose of doctors. Years of training and decades of experience all risk being severely devalued.

“Physician associate colleagues may also want to consider the potential implications of having the GMC as their regulator: being compared to colleagues who have a fundamentally different responsibility, whose differences are far greater than any similarities.

“Doctors know only too well the consequences of falling between the cracks of the existing regulatory system, and would not wish the same for our physician associate colleagues.”

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