The GMC is proposing that medical programmes delivered by UK universities overseas will not be labelled in the same way as home-based programmes.
It proposes that graduates from GMC-approved programmes delivered abroad would be treated as holding an acceptable overseas qualification rather than a primary UK qualification.
The change would allow the GMC to make a distinction between UK and overseas programmes delivered by a medical school. Several such schools have either been established or are under way, with a Malaysia campus of Newcastle University and a Cyprus medical school co-hosted by St George’s University of London.
The changes would only apply prospectively and not to students already admitted under existing arrangements.
GMC council papers state: ‘A UK primary medical qualification would mean what its name and common sense suggest it should mean: that the holder has completed their studies in the UK.
‘For those who have not, their status would be more accurately reflected by inclusion on an appropriately named list — GMC Overseas Programme, or GMC European Programme.’
The change is part of a series of GMC recommendations to change the Medical Act 1983. These include the legal power to maintain lists of approved programmes rather than only institutions and the legal powers for the GMC to recover the costs of its overseas quality-assurance activity.