MSG concerned by GCRA ruling on contracts

THE Medical Specialist Group is concerned a recent ruling by the Guernsey Competition & Regulation Authority will impact its ability to recruit high-quality consultants for the island.

MSG Chairman Dr Gary Yarwood. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29999267)
MSG Chairman Dr Gary Yarwood. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29999267)

‘We currently have 53 consultants at the MSG and have been able to recruit high-quality colleagues to maintain our high standards of clinical excellence,’ said MSG chairman Gary Yarwood.

‘Our success in recruitment has been despite the shortage of consultants across the UK. The BMA recently published a report highlighting the supply shortages in the UK. Our concern now is that the GCRA ruling will put Guernsey at risk.’

Earlier this week, the GCRA ruled that restrictions imposed by MSG employment contracts threatened to deprive islanders of quicker access to more affordable medical treatment by blocking competition.

The contracts in question stop former MSG consultants providing medical services in Guernsey for prolonged periods of time after leaving the group. The GCRA ruled that the contracts were prohibited under Guernsey competition law.

Deputy Peter Roffey served as Health minister between 2004 and 2008. He took to Twitter to share his experience of the challenges of recruiting medical consultants to Guernsey.

However, he believed any perceived

dilution of a consultant’s ability to supplement contract earnings with private practice will only exacerbate recruitment difficulties.

‘I wish the world was different. Particularly as I don’t have health insurance,’ he wrote.

‘The reality though is that the ability to carry out private practice is a vital part of the package needed to attract consultants to Guernsey. As I say, NHS contracts allow them to do so.’

Mr Yarwood stood by the contract clause in question because he believed removing it would make it more difficult to recruit high quality doctors as new consultants for the group.

‘We need to take time to review the findings properly and consider all available options in order to protect the service that we provide to the people of Guernsey,’ said Mr Yarwood following the ruling.

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