§ Mr. Michael McGuire
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she 846W will explain why a doctor accused of an offence against the moral code is much more speedily dealt with by the appropriate disciplinary body than one who is accused of failing to comply with the agreed contractual arrangement; and if she will make a statement.
§ Dr. Owen
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring on the one hand to cases of alleged professional misconduct considered by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Medical Council under powers conferred by the Medical Acts, and on the other hand to proceedings taken against general medical practitioners under the National Health Service (Service Committees and Tribunal) Regulations where a doctor is alleged to have failed to comply with his National Health Service Terms of service or where representations are made to the Tribunal that the continued inclusion of a doctor's name on a family practitioner committee's medical list would be prejudicial to the efficiency of the general medical services. The General Medical Council is an independent statutory body, and the details of the operation of its disciplinary procedures are not a matter for my right hon. Friend.