New tests could be the cure for bad doctors

THE Government has said it will introduce five-yearly MOTs for all UK doctors, to test their basic competence as a medic before they are relicensed, and this week released more details on how the system will work. It will be piloted over the next 18 month

THE Government has said it will introduce five-yearly MOTs for all UK doctors, to test their basic competence as a medic before they are relicensed, and this week released more details on how the system will work.

It will be piloted over the next 18 months and, to my mind, can only be a good thing.

It will help get rid of bad doctors, improve the standards of those practicing, and iron out bad habits.

It makes no sense whatsoever to allow a GP or consultant to practice and never face formal re-assessment of their competence, clinical skills or performance.

The inquiry into the Harold Shipman case, where the GP murdered more than 200 people over a 23-year period, raised concerns about the regulation of doctors and it is about time something was done about it.

Other professionals with great responsibilities are continually tested. For example, teachers are regularly monitored through Ofsted inspections and in-house observations, and pilots can face more than 100 assessments over their careers.

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l It's a pity the one job in the world that brings with it the greatest responsibility requires no training or qualifications. Becoming a parent, responsible for another human life, is the most important job you can have.

And to look around at some people who have taken on this role, there really ought to be some rigorous training, testing and criteria.

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