Recognition of General Practitioners/Family Doctors as Specialists in the field of Family Medicine

10/10/2016 1643 Views

Following the General Assembly in Porto, Portugal, which took place in June this year, UEMO issued a statement that the recognition of General Practitioners/Family Doctors as Specialists in the field of Family Medicine should be adopted by all European states.

This statement was welcomed by European Medical Associations and strongly supported by the Standing Committee of European Doctors.

Following on from this statement the British Medical Association voted at it’s Annual Representative Meeting two weeks later to pursue the aim of achieving recognition of the speciality and the Royal College of General Practitioners recorded an unanimous vote on the same theme at it’s June Council Meeting.

These two medical bodies representing UK General Practitioners, acknowledging the concerns of their members, then issued a Joint Statement in August.
The statement referenced the UEMO Proclamation and reiterated the need to remove the discrimination of General Practitioners and acknowledge that they were specialists in the field of Family Medicine.

The statement pointed out that most states within the EU (24 out of 28) recognise that doctors intending to work as GPs undertake specialised training in general practice and in hospitals and undergo rigorous assessment before they are allowed to work in family medicine. It mentioned that Canada, Australia and the United States also acknowledge the speciality and that it is an anachronistic anomaly that in some countries GPs are treated differently from their hospital colleagues.

Recognising GPs’/FDs’ status as specialists may help both recruitment and retention in General Practice and a robust general practice is the basis of any cost-effective health system.

UEMO is pleased that the statement it issued in June is being listened to and acted on and applauds the British Medical Journal for this publication.

UEMO further encourages and supports The British Medical Association in all its efforts to establish a statutory register of Specialists in Family Medicine.

It seems incomprehensible to other nations that the U.K., who is regarded as an innovator and exponent of good general practice, is so slow to recognise its own general practitioners as Specialists in Family Medicine.

See http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i5097/rapid-responses 

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