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Nearly 4,000 former GPs re-register to help fight against coronavirus

by Sofia Lind
27 March 2020

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Around 3,800 GPs are among 11,856 former doctors who have re-registered with the GMC to join the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

The GMC said that out of the returning doctors:

  • Around 32% are GPs;
  • Around 34% are specialists;
  • 82% are in England; 10% in Scotland; 4.5% in Wales and 3.5% in Northern Ireland;
  • 59% are male;
  • and their average age is 52.7.

Accoding to the regulators, they are all ’fully qualified and experienced doctors who left the register or gave up their licence within the last three years and have a UK address’. They also ‘have no outstanding complaints, sanctions or conditions on their practice’.

UK law states that the Government can ask the GMC to temporarily register doctors no longer in practice in an emergency and the GMC said ‘that request has now been made’.

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Last week it wrote to 15,000 doctors – including 5,000 GPs – asking them to consider re-registration, and only just over 3,000 opted out.

The re-registered doctors do not have to pay a GMC registration fee and if they are asked to practise by the NHS they will not have to pay for their medical indemnity.

Dame Clare Marx, Chair of the GMC, said: ‘The challenge facing our health services, and indeed the UK as a whole, is unprecedented. Doctors are leading the fight and are working under immense pressure. Returning to practice in the current situation is a major commitment, and we are very grateful to each and every one of the doctors who are doing so.

‘We realise that for many the decision about whether to return clinical work, and what roles they might be willing to do, is a difficult one. Doctors who had left the profession are under no obligation to return, and even now that temporary registration has been granted they are still able to change their minds if they wish, for any reason.’

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