'Understanding a doctor's registration: a guide for patients and carers' has been issued by the GMC and is available in eight different languages as well as English.
It explains that to practise medicine in the UK doctors must hold both registration and a licence with the GMC. Previously, doctors had to hold GMC registration only.
Paul Philip, the GMC's acting chief executive, said: ‘Most doctors in the UK have a licence but it's important that patients understand these new rules. For example, if a patient wants to go for private treatment, it's important that they check a doctor has a licence that allows them to practise in the UK.'