Hospital Dr News

Petition challenges GMC’s right to use doctor’s fees to pay Bawa-Garba legal costs

Doctors have launched a petition to prevent the GMC from using membership fees to fund its failed legal challenge against Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

Dr Bawa-Garba was re-instated on the medical register after the Court of Appeal over turned an earlier decision to strike her off.

The paediatrician said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes at Leicester Royal Infirmary that led to the death of a six-year-old boy in 2011 from septic shock.

The GMC pursued the junior doctor in the High Court after disagreeing with the MPTS tribunal decision to suspend her from practice for a year.

The junior doctor was subsequently struck off after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.

Following Dr Bawa-Garba’s successful legal challenge last week, the Court of Appeal ordered that the GMC pay for her legal costs— though many fear that the regulator will use doctors’ membership fees to do so.

Many doctors were outraged by the GMC’s intervention, with strong evidence to suggest the tragedy was due to systemic failures not those of an individual clinician.

The petition, signed by hundreds of doctors so far, said: “We fully support the fact that Dr Bawa-Garba should recoup all this money. However, we are firmly of the belief that this should not come from the GMC fees doctors up and down the land often struggle to pay.

“We therefore request that the GMC find other ways to raise the money for costs. We do not believe this order should be paid by hard-pressed and hard-working doctors throughout the UK. Many will be paying twice if they are allowed to do this. We had the foresight to see it was a gross error at the start.”

The petition noted that the funding could be sourced by a comprehensive salary review of GMC executives and their “shared common practice of providing private healthcare to their employees.”

The annual fee for a consultant to stay on the medical register is £425, this is despite doctors having received a combination of pay freezes and sub-inflation pay rises since 2011.

A GMC spokesperson said they were aware of the petition and would be responding to it in due course.

To sign the petition CLICK HERE.

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