Voice for justice
Giving Doctor's a voice is essential and the doctors need to be heard. Their experience must be collated. The GMC, MPTS, employers and other governing bodies must hear this and change to comply with the "DOCTORS CHARTER"
When a doctor is under professional investigation, the responsibilities held by the doctor do not disappear. The responsibilities in terms of the patient care, paperwork, management of the clinical activities, social and family commitments along with handling the legal aspects related to investigation. All the rewards earned by an extensive long-term career suddenly disappears. During an investigation, the current system ignores all the good, credible, trustworthy work done by them before. They just point finger towards one person which would be the “doctor”. The current biased system violates an individual civil liberties/human rights apart from barring him/her from professional duties.
In the current system, the social harmony, domestic harmony and peace of the accused doctor is destroyed during an investigation process. The doctor feels vulnerable, they feel judged, they feel that the system is treating them as guilty unless proved innocent. And the governing body for doctors (GMC) makes the doctors feel this way even before they have undertaken any investigation.
For example, the GMC wrote to Dr Suresh that they were commencing Fitness to Practise investigation against him because of alleged sexual contact with a patient. The doctor was asked to appear before an IOT and threatened with suspension. Not only this, the GMC wrote to his employer that he was under police investigation for sexually assaulting a minor, however they did not say that the description of the accused person provided by the patient was totally different from Dr Suresh. The GMC’s behaviour ignores the doctor’s right of not being subjected to an unfair process or being judged without due process, diligence, or appropriate evidence.
The doctors know of this brutal and unfair behaviour of the GMC and this is why they feel shaken to the core when they learn that the GMC is investigating them.
Through interim orders, the GMC has the power to restrict the doctor’s ability to earn their livelihood. They can suspend a doctor’s registration just on the basis of a complaint, without undertaking any investigation into the complaint. Many doctor's are called before an IOT which could have suspended them or applied restrictive conditions on their practice. Either of these is likely to cause an extensive severe damage to doctor's reputation. By writing with the detailed allegation to their employers, the GMC would have ensured that he lost his good name.
Why should the GMC have powers to destroy the reputation of an innocent doctor, why should they be able to recklessly kill off an innocent doctor’s ability to earn their livelihood? If the doctor is proven innocent, then the GMC must compensate the doctor for their loss of income.
The GMC or the employers regulating the professional practice of doctors do not survey or collect data from doctors about how they feel treated during an investigation. The doctors have a right to live. They must not perish in silence.