More than 750 doctors who have been convicted of serious offences such as illegal drug trafficking and child pornography are still practising in the UK. The profession's governing body, the General Medical Council, says it cannot ban the doctors as it would be in breach of their human rights.
The GMC was forced to reveal the number of criminal convictions held by practising doctors under a Freedom of Information request. Their records show that 761 doctors, with a total of 856 convictions between them, were still practising in the UK last month (October).
One doctor had taken indecent photographs of a child, two were convicted of possessing child pornography, two more had been found guilty of trafficking illegal drugs, and three had committed grievous bodily harm. There were 31 offences of assault, three of possessing dangerous weapons, seven for soliciting prostitutes, a dozen cases of domestic violence, and two charges of child cruelty or neglect.
The doctors concerned included GPs and surgeons.
At worst, the GMC issued a warning or a temporary suspension, but none of the doctors had been struck off, and are practising today. A spokesperson said that it could not automatically strip the doctor of his or her license to practise, as this would be in breach of their human rights.
(Source: Daily Telegraph, 24 November, 2013)