Concern over doctors’ health needs as legislation to regulate PAs and AAs introduced

Long overdue legislation setting out the regulatory framework for physician assistants (PAs) and anaesthesia assistants (AAs) has been published today.

Commenting on the legislation, Dr Michael Devlin, head of professional standards and liaison at the MDU said:

“This important piece of legislation not only introduces much needed regulation for PAs and AAs, it will also be a blueprint for the future regulation of all healthcare professionals. It is therefore extremely disappointing to see that the government is committed to removing health as a head of impairment in fitness to practise proceedings.

“What this means in practise is that the GMC we no longer be able to continue with its dedicated health investigations, while supporting these doctors.

“Not only is doctors’ regulation being delayed, but when it is introduced, these plans mean doctors will be losing a valuable part of the current model which is there to support the most vulnerable doctors through the fitness to practise process.

“In responding to this legislation, we call on the government to reconsider this, allowing for health to remain a distinct and separate process. We must also have a package of regulatory reform for doctors immediately. It is unfair that doctors’ regulation reform is moving at such a slow pace.”