GMC cuts fees and introduces discount scheme for newly-qualified doctors
Newly-qualified doctors will receive a fixed-term discount on their GMC registration fee from next April.
The GMC said the reduced-fee scheme could benefit doctors up to six years from joining the register, depending on how they join.
It said doctors who apply for provisional registration from April 2018 will get the full benefit of the discount package.
This will see them save over £1,000 across their first years in the profession. Doctors who have been registered for less than six years will also be eligible for some discounts, the GMC added.
Meanwhile, doctors who have held a full registration for more than five years will see their fees reduced by £35 from £425 to £390.
In addition, the GMC said it would remove the transaction charge for paying the annual retention fee in monthly or quarterly instalments as well as stop applying credit card charges.
It said that from 2019 onwards, it would aim to limit fee increases to be in line with inflation.
The GMC said it was able to take the decision to reduce fees because it made ‘operational savings’ since 2015.
GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson said: 'Many professionals find their first years in work the most financially challenging as they face a host of new expenses.
‘The cost of student loans, indemnity insurance, monthly subscriptions and ongoing training amount to significant sums.
‘I hope that this change to the way we structure our fees will provide additional practical support to doctors early in their careers.’
BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ’Doctors will be pleased that the GMC is listening to the profession and reducing the costs of regulation, particularly for our newly qualified doctors.
‘In the long-term it is important that the annual retention fee remains affordable and proportionate.’
Professor Stephenson said the GMC was 'determined to reduce the cost of regulation' and is hoping that the Government will 'deliver quickly' on pledges for 'greater flexibility underpinning legislation'.
Notes to editors:
n There are two main ways that doctors apply to join the UK register:
n The majority of doctors apply for provisional registration with a licence to practise, which allows them to practise in approved Foundation Year 1 posts. They then apply for full registration with a licence to practise, to move on to Foundation Year 2 in an approved training programme.
n If a doctor has completed an acceptable internship overseas or in the UK, they can apply for full registration, without having to apply for provisional registration first.
n Once on the full register, all doctors then pay an annual retention