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GMC imposes small fee rise for next year

Annual fee will increase by £5 but is frozen for doctors in training

Adrian O'Dowd

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Doctors are facing a £5 rise in their annual retention fee (ARF) to stay on the medical register from next year, the GMC has announced.

The doctors’ regulator said that the annual fee to stay licensed would increase by £5 next year from £420 to £425, while there would be a fee rise of £2 to £152 for doctors who are registered without a licence.

The increases were decided by the GMC’s Council last week in addition to freezes on fees paid by newly qualified doctors and doctors in training.

The fee paid by medical school graduates to become provisionally registered with the GMC will be frozen at £90, and the fee to move from provisional to full registration will be kept at £200.

Fees for the postgraduate Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) have also been frozen at £420.

Doctors on incomes below £32,000 a year will continue to be eligible for a 50% discount.

In addition, the GMC’s Council has also decided to implement a “major change programme” to help achieve significant cost reduction and support more effective ways of working in the future.

Next year the GMC said it planned to move around 130 posts from London to Manchester and reform its defined benefit pension scheme for staff.

It wants to save up to £6 million a year by 2018.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said: “We are determined that any rise in the annual retention fee will be kept to a minimum. The level of the ARF next year will be just over 1% above what it was in 2010. This small increase and the steps we will take as part of our efficiency programme are necessary to make sure we remain financially sustainable as an organisation.

“Overall we are in good financial health and it is important that we stay that way. Like other organisations in healthcare, we are in a challenging financial environment. However we are determined to be good stewards of our registrants’ money – which is why we need to make sure our income keeps up with our expenditure but also continue to cut our costs.”

The GMC receives 90% of its income from the annual retention fee paid by doctors, but as part of a new financial plan, it is exploring ways to generate additional sources of income, such as charging for some of its services internationally.

Most of the increase to the annual retention fee will cover the first full year of the levy imposed by the government on the GMC to fund the work of the Professional Standards Authority.

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