BMA loses battle over GMC fees
By Nigel Praities
A thousand GPs will be forced to pay hundreds of pounds a year to the GMC after the BMA lost its legal battle to protect GPs over 65 from paying the annual payment.
The High Court turned down the BMA's application for a judicial review of the GMC's decision to abolish the exemption from the annual retention fee.
The GMC wrote to all 31,000 doctors who were likely to be affected and explained the decision was based on legal advice that the current age exemption went against employment equality regulations.
BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said he was ‘disappointed' at the High Court decision.
‘We felt it necessary to pursue this case on behalf of the thousands of retired doctors who have given years of service to the NHS and felt let down by the changes to the ARF by the GMC.
‘The BMA will consider the details of this judgement and has not ruled out the possibility of an appeal.'
The GMC announced last December it was raising its fees by 35% this year. The council's annual retention fee increased to £390 and the provisional registration fee to £135, though GPs earning less than £21,391 only have to pay half of the fee.
A GMC spokesperson welcomed the High Court decision: ‘We are pleased that the Court has upheld as lawful our decision to withdraw age exemption from the annual retention fee. We will be writing to doctors affected by the change, about the action they need to take to continue or relinquish their registration.'