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The General Medical Council was founded in 1858.  In essence its purpose is to register and regulate doctors throughout the UK.  Strict criteria need to met, and failure to comply with the GMC can result in punitive action against individual medical practitioners. 

The wider purpose of the GMC is to maintain health and safety for the public by regulating standards of medical practice.  The GMC also works closely with overseas regulatory bodies, creating a level of mutual standards to adhere to.  All medical practitioners should be registered with the GMC.  It is essential that you are sure your surgeon is registered with the General Medical Council.