April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6)

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New GMC guidance

Implications for occupational disease reporting


Doctors are advised that they should consider reporting of occupational diseases in the public interest. Occupational physician Anne Raynal explains.

The General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) 2013 ethical guidance Good medical practice states that one of the chief duties of doctors is to ‘protect and promote the health of patients and the public’1. This principle is reinforced in the GMC’s latest revised guidance on medical confidentiality, Confidentiality – good practice in handling patient information2, which comes into force for all doctors on 27 April 2017. In a response to a 2016 GMC consultation exercise, on its proposed revised confidentiality guidance, I argued that patients diagnosed with an occupational disease, and their co-workers, could be at risk of serious harm or early death from unsafe work conditions…


Dr Anne Raynal is a specialist occupational physician, a member of the BMA’s Occupational Medicine Committee, and honorary senior lecturer in occupational medicine at the University of Cape Town School of Public Health and Family Medicine.

Author: Raynal A


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2017 (vol. 13/6) pp21-24

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