General Medical Council (GMC)

The Medical Act 1983 provides the GMC with four specific functions, these are:  to keep up-to-date registers of qualified doctors, to foster good medical practice, to promote high standards of medical education, including training, and to deal appropriately and fairly with those doctors whose fitness to practice is in question. It therefore seeks to promote the health and safety of the general public by ensuring that doctors discharge their professional duties with care, diligence and respect.

As the independent regulator in the UK for doctors, their statutory rationale is to promote, protect and maintain the health and safety of the general public through a system of rigorous practice standards.  No doctor can practice without first being enrolled upon the medical register, which is controlled by the GMC.

The GMC have various enforcement powers, including the power to remove a doctor from the register and thereby their right to practice medicine, where they feel it is necessary to protect patients from potential harm.