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Royal College responds to GMC apology to doctors for historic sanctions based on sexuality

23 Feb 2024

College welcomes apology but says more progress must be made to tackle prejudice in healthcare

22 February 2024

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has today (Thursday 22 February) welcomed the General Medical Council’s formal apology for past regulatory action against doctors with convictions under now-repealed homophobic laws.

The GMC has been the independent regulator of UK doctors for more than 160 years. It made the apology after its archivist and members of its LBTQ+ staff network searched for cases of doctors who were subject to fitness to practise proceedings because they had criminal convictions based on sexuality.

At least 40 individuals were found, and at least eight doctors were struck off the medical register. The last confirmed erasure was in 1966.

Dr Moe Oo, Chair of the College’s Inclusion Advisory Group, said: “We welcome today’s apology from the GMC, which reflects the hurt and profound impact these historic injustices had on doctors’ lives.

“Today’s apology is an important sign of progress, but there is still more to be done across healthcare to tackle persistent prejudices. As a healthcare community, we all need to play our part in championing a diverse, inclusive and welcoming culture.”

Category: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

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