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22.08.18

Doctors petition to stop GMC from using member fees to pay for Bawa-Garba legal case

Members of the GMC have launched a petition to oppose the union from using membership fees to fund its failed legal challenge against Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba.

Dr Bawa-Garba won her Court of Appeal challenge last week against the decision to dismiss her from the medical register following a long-running legal battle that has divided the health profession.

The paediatrics doctor said she was “whole-heartedly sorry” for mistakes that led to the death of a six-year-old boy in 2011. The junior doctor was struck off after being found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter at Leicester Royal Infirmary in 2011 when Jack Adcock died of septic shock after being admitted with vomiting and sickness.

She received a two-year suspended criminal sentence in 2015, and was dismissed from the medical register in January this year after originally receiving a year-long suspension from the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) following an appeal launched by the GMC.

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 council will use doctors’ membership fees to do so.

The petition, signed by hundreds 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.”

A GMC spokesperson said: "We have received a letter sent on behalf of doctors who have signed the petition and we will be responding to it in due course."

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Image credit: Nick Ansell, PA Images

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