Reopening services: Guidance from GMC

The news this week about schools has brought the complex issue about reopening any facility into sharp focus. This is also relevant to private healthcare and cosmetic services. The General Medical Council (GMC) has set out how it would respond to doctors considering reopening cosmetic clinics and this can be found on the JCCP website. Looking at existing guidance on COVID-19 and other guidance, the GMC states that:

“We expect doctors to use their professional judgment when interpreting what is meant by ‘other medical or health services’, and whether there is a genuine medical or health need for treatment which would permit their business to reopen….

… doctors must carry out a physical examination of patients before prescribing any injectable cosmetic medicine and therefore must not prescribe these medicines by telephone, video-link, online or at the request of others for patients they have not examined.

…As the primary objective of cosmetic treatment is not medical need it may be considered non-essential treatment.”

Risk assessments must be undertaken and there may be regional differences in service provision. For surgical services there is on-going variability with private access to intensive care services and in the availability of medicines and equipment. ISCAS FAQs endorsed by the Patients Association can be found here.