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CAMHS won't see you now

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)

  • I must admit none of this sounds especially unreasonable to me.

    I often wonder what on earth my GMC fee gets spent on given I have virtually no contact with them expect from being maintained on their 'list' and a few mildly interesting 'booklets'. Really the only specific 'service' I have ever received for all the vast sums I've given them over the years is being revalidated, and in the past a ' certificate of good standing' that I paid for my self (fair enough). Apparently much of the fee is eaten up in fitness to practice expenses...and I think it's reasonable that we all cover that collectively given its actually a professional risk we all face.

    However I dont see why the 'collective subsidy' should extend to folk who feel they want to leave the UK and work over seas ...could they perhaps explain why I should be contributing to this for them? and I don't understand why we should collectively subsidise folk coming from outside the UK to work here either..again thats their personal choice ..why I should be subsidising their registration and language costs? That doesn't mean I don't think the country should consider paying for it. If society as a whole feels it's needs more Drs from over seas (because it can't be bothered to train and/or retain enough here) then society as a whole can contribute to the cost, I just don't see why this cost should be passed to the poor Drs already ain't our fault the country doesn't have enough of us. And at the risk of boring you and provoking a wave of 'grey rage' why should we be subsidising the registration fee of retired Drs who'd like to do a bit of work here and there but who apparently cost the rest of us disproportionately as a result? Yes please continue on the register but don't expect your colleagues to subsidise this for you.

    The fees for quarterly payment is another pretty standard payment to encourage people to pay in full rather than receive what is in effect otherwise an interest free loan - again what's the problem? Or do you think the GMC should be providing interest free loans to a subsection of the profession who don't want to pay their fee in full? If so why?

    I often come on here and have a good moan. Indeed usually I'd be well up for moaning about the GMC but I don't think moaning about this is actually valid.

    I love the comments section of PULSE...but if all anyone ever does on here is moan..then it devalues the value of the debate on the site generally...and there is some excellent debate on here to be sure. The GMC has its faults but most of these changes aren't a good reason to go bashing them.

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  • Perhaps if GMC examined their own inefficiencies they would not need to raise fees: I've been under GMC 'Investigation' for over 2 years now: at 4 months in, their own independent psychiatrists identified significant mental health issues: Area Team investigated my practice and concluded I was unfit to work due to MH issues and removed me from Performers list a year ago, at which stage I decided to retire permanently: I applied for voluntary erasure which GMC refused on grounds 'I might try to reapply for registration in a couple of years': GMC then had to go to High Court to extend my suspension (at what cost?) as they still haven't got round to holding a FTP hearing, despite having all the necessary evidence and reports for at least 12 months: they've had 4 or 5 IOP hearings (at what cost) and each time courier out over a kilo of documents to several recipients including myself. n all my years in practice dealing with incompetent HAs, PCTs and CCGs, I have never encountered an organisation capable of such gross waste and time-wasting as the GMC - and such utter complacency when challenged. Unfortunately since it is we doctors and not the public who pay for all this, there is little prospect of persuading the Public Accounts Committee to investigate and hold them to account.

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  • GMC spends almost all its time persecuting doctors chasing fictitious charges from patients in the vast majority of cases.

    Time for us to stop paying an additional tax for self persecution.

    If protecting patients is what it is now all about, the DOH should be funding the witch hunts not the poor sods accused of witchcraft!

    If everyone stopped paying fees together the GMC would very quickly die the death it deserves.

    Campaign please Pulse.

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  • "However I don't see why the 'collective subsidy' should extend to folk who feel they want to leave the UK and work overseas ...could they perhaps explain why I should be contributing to this for them?"

    I doubt there are in fact many costs associated with leaving - it's just a list after all.In fact, you could argue they are subsidizing the UK docs as it is unlikely they would have much involvement with the UK GMC processes whilst away. The costs of checking revalidation are going to be the similar because it's a tick box exercise. This is political opportunism and a barrier to global medical trade. It's of course fairly contentious whether doctors should be paying for a system that 'protects the public' at all given what has been happening at the GMC recently.

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  • This is a huge response, and I agree ,probably with all of them. I had a bad experience with Fitness to practice trial, because so called G.P. expert, who made it widely known that he had recently been knighted, persisted with his "opinions", and the G.M.C. prosecutor was ordered to persist in his witch hunt, despite losing each point raised over the 10 working days it took for the prosecutor to run out of ideas, fuelled by some GMC grinder, who happened to be on holiday on a Sunny island while we were freezing in Manchester in February 2012. This informataion was given to my "team" by the prosecutor ( as I call him ). He was willing to drop the case after 4 days or so. I was cleared by the Fitness to Practice Panel on all five counts. In fact there was a hint that there should not have been an accusation in the first place.My holiday in Manchester, as I call it, cost me about £1000, and 2 weeks annual leave. I retired in September 2014.
    The GMC is a Government quango, which is peer reviewed by 4 or 5 Government quangos, so it is not surprising, they feel they can bleed and squash their working slaves. In all fairness to the "Panel" I found them very courteous and understanding.
    So pulse Magazine, I still have my black ring binder, full of all the papers, ready for you to examine. I'm sure you can contact me through my e-mail address. Yours sincerely Jonathan J. Neylon .. Dover, Kent

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  • When I moved overseas and decided to save money on GMC registration I was also told to get letters and certificates from previous employers and my new medical board, proving I had no complaints against me - basically it was guilty until proven innocent. So I didn't bother doing any of that, I simply stopped paying their fees, and was deregistered that way. Probably now a bit harder to return to th UK, but who would want to?

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  • A law and monopoly unto themselves.

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  • I think we should all stop paying GMC fees enmasse. No harm to patients, huge wake up call to government that we can be unified in action and the death of GMC all in one hit. What's there to lose?

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