The statement, signed by GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul, RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker alongside the chairs from the devolved nations, says the recognition of GPs as specialists is ‘long overdue’ in the UK.
It adds that GPs are ‘specialists in general practice/family medicine and must be recognised as such’.
The letter follows calls from UEMO (the European Union of General Practitioners/Family Physicians) for all European countries to recognise GPs as specialists.
The UK is now lagging behind comparable countries, the statement warns, with 24 out of 28 EU states, Australia, the USA and Canada all recognising the specialty.
They cited how GP trainees must complete at least five years of extra training following their medical degree and undergo ‘rigorous’ exit examinations before they can be recognised as GPs.
They wrote: ‘It is an anachronistic anomaly that the postgraduate training of general practitioners remains unrecognised in this respect and we call upon the government and GMC to make the changes necessary to add general practitioners to the List of Specialists and for the status of general practitioners to be equal to that of their secondary care colleagues.’