1. ITV Report

Kent GP in religion hearing

Dr Richard Scott says he did not overstep the line with his advice to a patient. Photo: Pat Hurst/PA Wire

A GP based in Margate, Kent, accused medical watchdogs of persecuting Christians as he denied trying to convert a patient to his religion.

Committed Christian Dr Richard Scott told the General Medical Council (GMC) "doing God is good for your health".

However, he insisted he had not overstepped the mark with a patient because of the strength of his religious convictions. He is before the GMC for alleged breach of medical rules after a consultation with the patient at his surgery in August 2010.

It is alleged the GP "crossed the line" in pushing his views on the vulnerable and "psychologically troubled" 24-year-old man, known as patient A.

But Dr Scott said it was at the end of the usual medical consultation that he made a "gentle offer" to the patient to broach the subject of faith.

It was only when the patient's mother later complained that he was accused of breaking the rules about imposing personal views on patients - which he vehemently denies.

The GP claims the GMC had pursued his case with "excessive zeal" and is "singling out Christianity".

The father-of-three has, since 2003, worked with his wife, also a GP, at the Bethesda Medical Practice, an "expressly Christian" doctor's surgery in the seaside town.

"Why has God led me to Margate?" Dr Scott said as he began his evidence before the Investigations Committee of the GMC.

Dr Scott said working as a doctor was more interesting in a "poor place" with social problems, adding: "Margate fulfils both criteria, believe you me."

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