The decision by the General Medical Council (GMC) to disregard the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) decision and erase Dr Bawa-Garba from the UK medical register shocked junior doctors across Europe1. The targeting of an individual junior doctor rather than a system that is struggling under extreme pressure has amplified the lack of trust and confidence UK doctors have in the GMC. Furthermore, this case has raised awareness across Europe of the individual liability of doctors working in environments in which wider organisational and systemic pressures may compromise patient safety.
EJD notes the concerns of UK junior doctors regarding the ability of their regulator, the GMC, to overturn the decisions of the MPTS. We stand with the British Medical Association and all our other national member organisations as they continue to support junior doctors working in under-resourced and under-staffed health services.
1 The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) was set up to make independent decisions about a doctor’s fitness to practise medicine in the UK. In 2017, the MPTS found Dr Bawa-Garba's fitness to practise to be impaired and suspended her from working as a medical doctor in the UK for a year. The General Medical Council (GMC), the UK medical regulator, appealed the MPTS decision on suspension and in January this year, the high court upheld the appeal, removing Dr Bawa-Garba from the UK register of medical practitioners.