Qualification for GP:
GPs involved in the practice of occupational medicine ideally should be in the possession of a professional qualification in occupational medicine.
Training and guidance:
A useful resource is the website of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. www.rcpi.ie
General advice from Medisec on employer requested information from a GP
The consent of the patient is generally required before releasing either medical records, clinical information or occupational notes to the patient’s employer.
If an employer is requesting specific information from a Dr on investigation/treatment of a patient the Dr will need to consider his/her duty to maintain patient confidentiality and discuss the request with the patient to see if the patient consents to disclosure of the nature of the illness to the employer. If patient does not consent, Dr cannot disclose the relevant information. Medisec advises the Dr to draft a letter to the employer and consider including the following information in the letter:
- appropriate investigations have been carried out,
- patient is being treated appropriately and/or is on appropriate medication,
- patient has been referred accordingly (if so),
- estimate time Dr deems patient will need to recover, and
- suggest the employer seeks a second opinion from an occupational physician (if appropriate)
The Dr should provide the patient with a copy of the draft letter and obtain the patient’s consent before issuing the letter.
Below we have included links to two useful articles in our newsletters: