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GMC introduces range of new fees in bid to save £2.4m

The GMC has announced a range of new fees and increased charges, which it said would particularly affect international medical graduates and GPs who are working overseas and want to maintain their GMC licence.

The regulator hopes to generate an additional £2.4m a year by 2017, and the new charges comeson top of an 8% increase in registration fees in April this year.

Following a spending review, chief executive Niall Dickson said the new fees and increases in charges were necessary because all doctors were subsidising services used by a minority of doctors.

But the BMA has warned that the introduction new charges for international medical graduates (IMGs) and returners must not become an additional barrier when general practice is in the middle of a national workforce crisis.

The new charges include:

  • An increase of almost 75% in the costs of the two Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board exams, which currently total £620 but will be raised to £1,070 by February 2016.
  • New administration fee of £250 for doctors who have retired or are working abroad but wish to retain their GMC license and £1,100 for them to go through revalidation.
  • An administration charge of £8 for GPs paying their annual fees in quarterly or monthly instalments, a 1.5% levy on credit card transactions and a £10 charge for registration status changes such as when a GP opts for ‘voluntary erasure’ of their registration.

Estimating the combined income from the changes, the GMC states: ‘The fee proposals will generate additional annual income of around £1.6 million in 2016, rising to £2.4 million from 2017 onwards.

’Inevitably the introduction of new or enhanced fee levels may attract negative feedback from those having to pay higher fees but this would be mitigated through a clear and transparent communications campaign.’

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA equality and inclusion committee chair, said: ‘At a time when doctors are seeing real-terms pay cuts year on year, we must ensure that professional costs do not change disproportionally.

‘While we are encouraged by the GMC’s continuing efforts to keep the costs of the annual retention down, it is important we ensure the fee rise for international medical graduates, who make a huge contribution to the NHS, does not become a barrier to them joining the NHS workforce and providing vital healthcare services in the UK.’

Niall Dickson said: ‘We have a longstanding principle that our fees should cover what our services actually cost to deliver. In some cases they are no longer doing that. We also believe that where possible the annual retention fee paid by all doctors should not subsidise specific services which only a small number of doctors use.

‘We will review all these fees on a regular basis, to make sure we continue to recover our costs. We are also exploring the possibility of whether we can charge for offering some services internationally.’

Readers' comments (38)

  • GMC has changed its slogan to:- Hounding the doctors, Sod the patients.
    GMC tentacles are everywhere hence we need to cough up.
    Recently came out of three year investigations because of the complaint by a fraudulent employee. It has nothing to do with patient care. I fact it's miracle that patients did not suffer due to the stress caused by GMC. GMC was looking for the non existing needle in the haystack. Helped the complainants to write the statement and searched high & dry to find me guilty, despite asking GMC to give the reasons for investigating me despite clearly seeing that complainants credibility in in tatters and also pointed out in simple plane language that :-
    1: I did not sleep with patient
    2: I did not take money from the patients
    3: I did not kill the patient
    4: I am not drug/ alcohol addict
    And that being foreigner and female I did not have cat in hell chance coming out unscathed
    Told GMC stuff their counselling service too.
    I really would like to know that the amount of your money GMC spent on me or on similar cases to mine with no relevance to patient care.
    There you have it folks why GMC needs more money from us. To borrow the phrase from fellow blogger "we are paying for our own assassination

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  • This commen=

  • What a suprise!! You can always count on the GMC to look after themselves and not those that find them.

    My case. A young early 30s GP who fled the UK and continued for 2 years to pay their exorbitant fees whilst waiting for permanent residency. I managed to get my permanent status 3 months ago and therefore an unrestricted license to practice anywhere in Canada.

    I rang the GMC a few months back and asked them if they could withdraw my registration. The kind call handler told me I would have to apply to be voluntarily withdrawn from the register and would need a certificate of good standing from my college here. I them enquired from the Canadian college how this would be arranged and was told is have to pay a fifty odd quid fee for the privilege of sending the GMC a CGS!!

    When I rang the GMC again to ask them what would happen if I simply stopped paying they guy on the other end of the phone went quiet!!!! You will be erased from the register.

    So there it is folks. I didn't pay and am now not registered due to an admin reason on the GMC website and have saved myself 50 quid and ridiculous annual fees.

    Tbh with you all I've never felt better. To be totally out of their clutches is a blessing. You always feel on edge when you know they're in the background or there's the possibility if a letter or investigation following a vexatious complaint.

    I couldn't care less for them or the RCGP either. The very best thing comrades is freedom and if you are able to escape these ghastly organisations then I strongly encourage you to do this.

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  • It's a good deterrent for doctors to leave uk and practice elsewhere!!!

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  • All said and done- this was the worst moment to hike prices. This would not only discourage overseas doctors from coming in when there is a drought in the NHS but also encourage those abroad and hoping to return at some stage, to cancel that knot with UK.

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  • Dear Editor,
    Could you kindly explore for me or encourage a discussion about any legal pitfalls if I join a Federation and this becomes a limited company.
    Does that mean that I may not be able to participate in the NHS Pension scheme as I am part of a limited company. Or is there going to be a breach of some kind because as a GMC Contract holder I cannot be a limited company? If I am able to particiapte in the NHSP scheme then why are locums registered as ltd companies not allowed to contribute to NHSP from this income.
    Thanks for looking at this.

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  • Read 'GMS' not GMC

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  • That's it. Decision made.
    I was keeping my options open by remaining registered in case I wanted to do some locum work.
    I will get revalidated in November and then withdraw from the register.
    I spoke to an ex partner recently. One doctor on maternity leave, three reduced their hours as they are burning out and can't get anyone to cover.
    How very, very sad!

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  • Wonder if this will help those doctors who have left due to over regulation? We need evidence based regulation, a fit and proper independent judge-led judicial process and the GMC is in dire need of proper regulation and accountability. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be happening.

    The question needs to be asked that why given there is a lack of an evidence base behind what it does is the GMC allowed to be the most bloated, wasteful and suffocating regulator of doctors in the world? Why is its dysfunctionality, conflicts of interest (eg revalidation officers who are medical directors, deans etc), its appalling track record on how it treats whistleblowers (eg Raj Mattu), patient safety issues and previous disasters (eg Shipman) not being challenged in the public arena by anyone to shut down? The GMC is a threat to patient safety and doctors alike. It must be a tool of the DOH and perhaps is told what to do in return for political cover???

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  • The GMC's running costs should be a fixed proportion of Doctor's incomes. So if we earn less they should have to tighten their belts as well and restrict their activities accordingly.

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  • So when during the year do you have to pay your fees by?

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