Whatever the original purpose of these regulations, the effect for retired doctors is that the General Medical Council is "forced" to charge them a fee if they wish to remain on the Medical Register.

Historically, on full registration (in my case 1959) doctors paid a single fee for lifetime registration; then in 1970 an annual retention fee was introduced, on the undertaking that on reaching age 65, doctors would remain on the Register provided they withdrew from remunerated practise. When I retired in 1997 the GMC assured me that no further fees were required unless of course I returned to remunerated Practise.

In 2008 the GMC informed retired doctors that the Employment Equality (age) Regulations made the existing arrangements ILLEGAL, regardless of all their previous undertakings. Doctors who wish to remain on the Register, without Licence to practice, must now pay an annual retention Fee or opt for "voluntary" erasure!  All my retired colleagues whom I have asked have refused to pay this annual fee and are therefore "Erased" albeit voluntarily. I add that this term "erasure" has the unpleasant implication of medical misconduct.

It may, or may not, be a case of the Law having unitended consequences, due perhaps to poor draughtsmanship. In which case  correction might be preferable to Repeal.


Why is this idea important?

My idea is to secure  a civilised solution to a perceived injustice to elderly retired doctors who are deprived of their admittedly honorary professional status, which posed no threat to patients, and  which has thus been eroded and finally removed by these regulations.

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