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Independents' Day

Parliamentary petition calls for doctors to stop paying for GMC

A petition calling for the GMC to become funded by taxpayers rather than through annual fees from doctors has already received over 24,000 signitures in less than a month.

The petition, which was launched at the beginning of February, says the call followed ‘the recent events in relation to the GMC and overturning the MPTS decision’ not to strike off a junior doctor from the medical register after the death of a six-year-old boy.

Mohammed Arif Moothadeth, a consultant in occupational medicine in Newcastle, who opened the petition, said that following the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case ‘a significant proportion of doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to justify paying annual retention fees to an organisation whose primary remit is to protect patients’.

He added: ‘Therefore the tax-paying public, and not doctors, have to take responsibility for funding the GMC; similar to the Health and Safety Executive, which is not funded by organisations/employers yet are independent and have enforcement powers.’

The petition comes after the GMC won a High Court bid to strike off Dr Bawa-Garba from the medical register, overruling a decision by the MPTS to suspend her after she was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter.

GPs responded to the case by saying that trust in the GMC has been ‘fundamentally’ undermined, while others called for an investigation into the GMC ‘to examine if it is fit for purpose’

The GMC has come under fire from its own regulator, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), for the handling of Dr Bawa-Garba’s case.

In its response, the Department of Health and Social Care did not back the petition, instead saying: 'It is right that the cost of regulation is met by those professionals who are regulated.'

Readers' comments (15)

  • Council of Despair

    just signed it.

    c'mon guys there are over 200,000 doctors registered with the GMC - if everyone and friends and family sign it - the 100,000 threshold can be reached - it will then force a debate.

    this is a real opportunity to push for change.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Signed it

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  • Macaque

    me too!

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  • Done a long time ago!

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  • We are between a rock and a hard place. At the moment you can't practice medicine unless you are GMC registered. What to do?

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  • Dear Ozzy Every doctor is registered with GMC. Its just a petition to sign that TAx payer should fund GMC and not Doctors. Nobody is asking you to stop your registration with GMC.

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  • AlanAlmond

    We should all get behind this, there are enough Drs in the force a debate, this just needs to be advertised widely, whoever reads this article please encourage everyone who might be interested to sign.

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  • Cobblers

    I've just been fobbed off by the DoH!

    Should think we have all had the reply? Total unmitigated BS in my opinion.

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  • done it already

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  • See reply from the petetions committee

    The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Make GMC a tax-payer funded organisation and not to be funded by doctors.”.

    Government responded:

    The GMC sets standards for doctors, provides support to achieve them and takes action when they are not met. It is right that the cost of regulation is met by those professionals who are regulated.

    The GMC is an independent organisation that regulates doctors in the UK, helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

    In doing so the GMC:
    • decides which doctors are qualified to work in the UK and oversees UK medical education and training;
    • sets the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers; and
    • Takes action to prevent a doctor from putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

    Doctors must pay a fee to register with the General Medical Council and an annual retention fee to remain on the register in order to practise as a doctor in the UK. The standard fee to join or remain on the register is £425, though this is reducing to £390 from 1 April 2018.

    Managing Public Money allows certain public goods and services to be financed by charges rather than from general taxation: this includes registration by statutory regulators, such as the GMC.

    Department of Health and Social Care

    Click this link to view the response online:

    The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

    The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee:

    The Petitions team
    UK Government and Parliament

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