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Volume 934: debated on Thursday 30 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what procedure is adopted by family practitioner commit- tees or other bodies, concerning the certification of fitness of general medical practitioners; and what criteria are laid down for those signing such certificates.

General medical practitioners are independent contractors to family practitioner committees for the provision of National Health Service general medical services, and they are not in general required to provide certificates of fitness. If, however, a family practitioner committee is satisfied, after receiving a report from the local medical committee, that because of physical or mental disability a doctor on its medical list is unable to carry out his obligations under his terms of service, alternative arrangements may be made for the care of his patient; and in such cases the doctor, before being allowed to resume his NHS work, may be required to provide a medical report by a suitably qualified doctor as to such aspects of his health as the local medical committee may specify.