Where Have All the GPs Gone?

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

GPs in the UK are now retiring in their 50s.

The Government says this is because the current pension rules mean that retiring at 55 or so makes good sense.

That, of course, is rubbish.

I believe that GPs are retiring very early because they cannot stand dealing with the GMC’s revalidation forms.

In order to remain registered and licensed, doctors now have to spend vast amounts of time filling in forms and collecting signatures.

Most doctors have had enough of this nonsense. They became doctors because they wanted to treat patients. But now they spend their days dealing with bureaucrats.

So, they are retiring early.

And once retired, GPs are lost to the profession completely and forever.

In the old days (five years ago or so) a GP could retire and then still work two or three days a week. He could do locum work. He could stand in when a younger doctor was ill or on holiday.

But these days, once a doctor has retired, his licence will be taken from him.

And he cannot work again.

Next time you are faced with a three week delay to see a GP. And you then find yourself facing a choice between a doctor from some other country (whose command of English is basic) or a GP who has been qualified for six months – thank the General Medical Council.

For it is thanks to the GMC that older, more experienced doctors are disappearing.

In my view, the GMC has damaged general practice permanently.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2018

Dr Vernon Coleman’s book Doctors Kill More People than Cancer is available as an ebook on Amazon.