The GMC Confidentiality Guidance 2009 and Access to Occupational Health Reports: issues and challenges
According to the General Medical Council (GMC)’s Confidentiality Guidance 2009, doctors should offer to show or give a copy of the reports they write for employment or insurance purposes to the patients before the reports are dispatched to the commissioning party. The patients are then entitled to veto its release. This paper examines the issues and challenges that confront occupational physicians in relation to this development. It will demonstrate that while this move by the GMC was inspired by the letter and spirit of existing law, it is revolutionary in nature insofar as occupational health reports are concerned. However, far from setting a trend which is worthy of emulation by occupational physicians in other jurisdictions, the discussion will show that it could distort the nature of occupational health service, and compromise the health and safety of the patient as well as the public.