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BMA to explore GMC ‘fee withdrawal’ if PA regulation concerns not addressed

BMA to explore GMC ‘fee withdrawal’ if PA regulation concerns not addressed

The BMA will explore potential ‘fee withdrawal’ from the GMC if it fails to address concerns around the regulation of physician associates (PAs). 

Yesterday, at the union’s Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in Belfast, delegates passed a motion which called for a ‘plan for fee withdrawal’, as well as a ‘new regulator’ which would ‘take over’ the professional regulation of doctors.

The motion asserted that union members have ‘no confidence’ in the GMC’s ability to distinguish ‘doctors from medically unqualified care providers’.

On Monday, the BMA announced its intention to take legal action against the regulator over the way in which it plans to regulate PAs and other associate roles, arguing that there will be a ‘dangerous blurring of the lines’ between these roles and doctors.

The judicial review will be based on the GMC’s use of the term ‘medical professionals’ in reference to PAs, which the union said ‘should only ever be used to refer to qualified doctors’. 

Delegates at yesterday’s ARM also called for the BMA to ‘continue to apply pressure’ on regulators and the Government to ‘prevent or reverse’ GMC regulation of medical associate professionals, which is due to begin by the end of this year. 

The motion, which passed in all its parts, requires the BMA to present a plan for fee withdrawal and new regulator to its council before the ARM in 2025, which will be ‘actioned’ if the GMC does not ‘sufficiently’ address its concerns. 

Motion in full

That this meeting has no confidence in the ability of GMC to fulfil its original and primary function of distinguishing doctors from medically unqualified care providers, and therefore requires the Association to:-

i) continue to apply pressure on regulators, NHS organisations and government to prevent or reverse MAP registration and regulation by the GMC;

ii) work with regulators, royal colleges and NHS organisations to promote adoption of scope definitions described in the Association’s “A Safe Scope of Practice for Medical Associate Professionals” document (reflecting the primacy of doctors in leading and delivering medical care and ensuring that training of doctors is safeguarded);

iii) develop and implement a concurrent strategy in response to GMC registration of non-doctors, to include possible withholding of GMC fees and foundation of a new regulator to take over the professional regulation and registration functions of the GMC for doctors alone;

iv) present a plan for fee withdrawal and a new regulator to BMA Council before ARM 2025 that can be actioned if the GMC has not sufficiently addressed the Association’s concerns. PASSED IN ALL ITS PARTS

Many medical leaders have come out against GMC regulation of PAs, including the RCGP who earlier this year changed its stance following a council vote.

But the decision to for GMC to take on this responsibility was made five years ago in 2019, and it passed into law earlier this year, despite opposition from doctors’ groups.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Yes Man 26 June, 2024 12:58 pm

For some reason Punch&Judy come to mind.

Waseem Jerjes 26 June, 2024 1:21 pm

Doctors shouldn’t have to pay fees to the GMC if it doesn’t distinguish them from unqualified care providers. It’s unfair to charge doctors for a service that fails to protect their professional integrity and standards.

Post Doc 26 June, 2024 1:46 pm

Failure to pay GMC Retention Fee would result in being deemed to have relinquished your GMC registration.
Might PAs be recruited in even greater numbers to fill the gaps?

Douglas Callow 26 June, 2024 1:59 pm

Push for alternative and new regulator with new Government best way forward in s collaboration

Dave Haddock 26 June, 2024 2:54 pm

When the suggestion of withholding GMC fees was raised, as a protest against the planned imposition of compulsory Appraisal and Revalidation, the BMA argued that they could not support such action as it would be illegal.
Were they lying?

Douglas Callow 26 June, 2024 3:24 pm

Look for support from profession and lobby new government for a new regulator

win win 26 June, 2024 7:54 pm

So doctors wil be paying BMA to bring forward the case and The GMC defend it .

Mark Howson 26 June, 2024 10:44 pm

Could get BMA to hold on to our payments. So that it has been paid by us but held by BMA who will hold it until the dispute is resolved.
Problems I would have is I work in OOH and the provider will not give me shifts unless I am in good standing.

Truth Finder 1 July, 2024 5:00 pm

The BMA should set up an alternative regulator. We have lost faith in the GMC. Professionals only.