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a stethoscope image cbDecember 18 2017

General Medical Council registration fees are to be reduced under a new fixed-term discount for newly qualified doctors. 

Coming into effect from April 1 2018, the discount “will apply to doctors’ fees for up to six years on the register, dependant on how they join. All 7,000 doctors who apply for provisional registration from April 2018 will benefit from the full package of discounts, saving them over £1000. An additional 41,000 doctors who have been registered for less than six years will also be eligible for some discounts,” said the GMC.

In addition, “all doctors who have held full registration for more than five years will receive a fee reduction of £35 – meaning they will pay £390 for their annual retention fee instead of £425.”

The reductions have been announced following operational savings made since 2015. This includes the relocation of 130 staff from London to Manchester and streamlining of the GMC’s fitness to practise procedures.

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.”

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, responded to the announcement, saying: “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.”

The GMC has also published its response to the consultation regarding regulation of medical associate professionals (MAP). It said it would be “well-placed to accept regulatory responsibility for MAPs, providing the Government agrees:

  • they are seen as a single profession with different areas of practice under a flexible, future-proofed legal framework;
  • funding to cover the GMC’s costs of setting up their regulation – the GMC is clear that doctors should not subsidise these costs or the ongoing regulation of MAPs;
  • a timetable that allows for a ‘smooth transition’, with the regulation of the four roles happening in stages rather than all at once.”

Links:
GMC fee announcement                 
BMA response    
GMC MAP comment        

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