Referral to the Health Sub-Committee

The Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (MPA) sets out in a very formal way, the regulatory pathways of referral to the Health Sub-Committee.  The underlying principle behind the establishment of this Sub-Committee is to support doctors in the maintenance of their registration during illness and recovery, where there is no patient risk that could be subject of a complaint.

As such the Sub-Committee also continues to offer its support and advice to medical practitioners referred through third parties or self referrals.  Referrals are treated as confidential within the Sub-Committee, and may be useful as a support not only to the doctor with an illness, but also to their treating doctor.

The Sub-Committee has a wide range of expertise amongst its membership but especially in relation to mental health issues and addictions. There is also a range of external expertise available to the Sub-Committee for a variety of other illnesses, if required.  

Due to the wording of the MPA, any complaints regarding medical disability must currently be referred to a ‘Fitness to Practise Committee hearing’ by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee.  In cases where a referral to a ‘Fitness to Practise’ results the doctor can apply for the hearing to be held in private.

A third party referral or self referral to the Health Sub-Committee is not subject to Fitness to Practise procedures, unless there are patient safety issues involved.