UK Medical Watchdog Says Doctors Entitled To Speaking Out Amid Reports On Silencing

GENOA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 10th April, 2020) Doctors have the right to express their opinions as long as they do not reveal confidential information without a patient's consent, the UK General Medical Council's (GMC) spokesperson told Sputnik after the UK media reported medical workers had been forbidden from speaking publicly about coronavirus.

On Thursday, the Guardian newspaper reported health care professionals were being silenced in the United Kingdom amid the spread of the coronavirus. The newspaper claimed it had spoken to medical workers who were afraid of disciplinary measures and had received emails banning all public communications.

"Doctors are of course entitled to sharing their opinions but must adhere to professional guidelines at all times. Practitioners must be careful to not put confidential information in the public domain without a patient's explicit consent," the GMC spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that a doctor worried about patient safety should follow the guidance of the GMC on raising concerns.

The GMC is a organization seeking to improve medical practice across the United Kingdom. It maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the country.

According to the UK government statistics as of April 9, there have been 65,077 COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom and 7,978 deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is undergoing treatment for coronavirus, was transferred from intensive care to a regular ward on Thursday evening.