In the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council is the legal authority on medical practice which entrusts the medical practitioners with the duty to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine. The General Medical Council (GMC) was constituted under the provisions of the Medical Act of 1858. Under the Medical Act 1983, there are four major functions of the General Medical Council:
1.Keeping up-to-date registers of qualified doctors
2.Fostering good medical practice
3.Promoting high standards of medical education and
4.Dealing firmly and fairly with doctors whose fitness to practice is in doubt.
The General Medical Council acts as the independent regulator for doctors in the UK. The objective of protection, promotion and maintenance of the health and safety of the public is ensured by controlling entry to the medical register and setting the educational standards for medical schools. The General Medical Council has strong and effective legal powers to maintain the standards which the public have a right to expect of doctors. Independence and accountable regulation is the essence of the General Medical Council. The Council is publicly accountable for the discharge of its functions.