Ethical Guide

The issue of doctors’ health is referenced in the Medical Council’s Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners

Paragraph 45.2 states -

  • "If you are concerned about a colleague's health or professional competence due to misuse of alcohol or drugs, a physical or psychological disorder or other factors, you have an overriding duty to make sure that patients are protected.  The best way to support a colleague in such circumstances is to advise them to seek expert professional help or to consider referral to the Medical Council's Health Sub-Committee.  However, if there is a risk to patient safety, you must inform the Medical Council of your concerns without delay."

Section 51 of the Guide states -

  • 51.1 "If you think you might be infected with a serious communicable disease, you must seek appropriate medical advice without delay and ensure that your condition does not pose any risk to patients or others.  The colleague(s) you consult in this regard has a dual role to both help and counsel you and to make sure that you do not pose a risk to patients and others.  If such a risk exists, the Medical Council must be informed as soon as possible."
  • 51.2 "If you become ill, you should seek advice and help from another doctor rather than treat yourself.  Even as a doctor, you should have your own general practitioner."