It is not possible to impose an automatic ban on doctors convicted of sex offences as the move would not be compatible with human rights legislation, says the British medical council.
Almost 31 men are practising as GPs, consultants and surgeons despite having convictions for assaulting women, possessing child pornography or soliciting prostitutes.
The General Medical Council (GMC) said it was unable to ban medics for being on the sex offenders' register as it had been advised that it would risk breaching human rights legislation, the Telegraph reports.
"Cases of doctors convicted of sexual assault or child pornography offences are very rare and in the vast majority of these cases these doctors are struck off the medical register so they cannot practise medicine in the UK," the paper quoted Niall Dickson, the GMC's chief executive, as saying.
A spokesman, however, for the Council said that an independent panel of experts would decide whether to strike off a doctor, and the GMC could not appeal against it.