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At the heart of general practice since 1960

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)

  • This should make for a lively debate...

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  • paying for voluntary erasure? just don't pay your fees. tell them you want to terminate and then don't pay. it's only a legal requirement if you want to stay on the register isn't it? i.e. payment for a service.

    also, GMC can sod right off if they think I'm paying them £200 a year at least to stay on the register when I'm in NZ/AU.

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  • This is despicable. Blackmailing doctors by £1350 in order to deter them from going abroad is morally indefensible and protectionism of the worst kind. They should be challenged in the strongest terms by the BMA and the proposal immediately taken to judicial review. Medicine is a globalised profession and introducing such barriers to trade is contrary to international business norms. They have crossed the line with this one.

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Wicked
    Absolutely wicked.....
    GP income has been always on decline last 10 years
    GMC fees can only go up , never down...

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  • well well well

    quango that champions state causes only and has no interest in doctors welfare or safety increases charges on doctors who are fed up with the current system and are looking at leaving - who would have thought.

    q'ns

    1. accountability ?
    2. why don't the people that PAY have a SAY ?
    3. where is the BMA?

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  • ROTTEN TO THE CORE!

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  • ThE GMC are relaly worth this pay increase... Come on. Don't be so mean.
    In the first cycle of revalidation they picked up all of 23 GPs that needed remediation - really useful process... Maybe that proves that we don't need the GMC as we are pretty good at what we do... Thank god the CQC will catch the rest of us and shut our surgeries down...

    And of course the GMC need to invest as th CQC will guarantee that they have plenty of work.

    And of course they should charge medics going overseas as they are clearly going for the money and not for their health

    Also the GMC has previously spent £280,000 on health insurance for its 500 employees. Shame they couldn't spend that on the workforce who actually save lives and treat patients. So we pay for their staffs private health care whilst we struggle to support our own staff in primary care.. You couldn't make it up.

    Also the board need to keep their salaries up ... You don't want to know what they take home..

    Worth every penny so please cough up and keep paying....

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  • After I was shafted by the GMC's excellent redalidation system as it was effectively impossible for doctors working outside the NHS to get revalidated (their words not mine), I took pleasure in voluntarily erasing my name from the GMC register.
    That took me quite a while while as they were obviously keen not keen to let me go as they would have been keen to keep my fees, as if that was going to happen!
    The excuse was I would have to prove that there were no pending cases against me, which was tricky as I had not worked in the NHS for many years.
    Eventually I forced them to accept this and managed to escape their clutches.
    So even if you want to voluntarily come off the register, they will put as many obsticles in your path so plan ahead to make your escape!

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  • GMC - Why do we need them,what purpose do they serve?

    There is the national performers list to keep track of GPs - extend to all our colleagues and stop being their cash cows.

    Scrap GMC as stopped representing doctors when it started persecuting its own.

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