GMC to slash registration fees for doctors

Thousands of newly qualified doctors will benefit from a new fixed-term discount on GMC registration fees, which could save them over £1000.

The decision, made on 12 December, follows operational savings made since 2015 and a commitment to reduce regulatory cost on doctors.

"We are determined to reduce the cost of regulation, both for individual doctors and the health system as a whole."

Professor Terence Stephenson

GMC Chair

The fixed-term discounts, starting from 1 April 2018, will apply to doctors’ fees for up to six years on the register, dependant on how they join.

All 7000 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.

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.

 GMC Chair Professor Terence Stephenson said the decision was a mark of the organisation’s drive to alleviate pressure on doctors new to medical practice and the wider medical profession where possible.

Professor 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.’

All of these changes will take effect from doctors’ registration and renewal dates from 1 April 2018 onwards.

The fee reductions have been possible thanks to saving efforts, which include the relocation of more than 130 jobs from London to Manchester and reforms to streamline the GMC’s fitness to practise procedures.

Professor Stephenson added:

‘We are determined to reduce the cost of regulation, both for individual doctors and the health system as a whole. We are very focused on providing value for every pound of registrants’ money. We are only able to make these changes because of diligent saving efforts and careful financial planning.

‘With greater flexibility to our underpinning legislation – something we hope the Government will deliver as quickly as possible once its current consultation is over – we could deliver further benefits for doctors and patients, even more efficiently.’

After listening to feedback from doctors, the GMC has also decided to remove a transaction charge for paying the annual retention fee through monthly or quarterly instalments, from 1 April 2018.

 From January, in line with a government directive from earlier this year, there will no longer be credit card charges applied.

 From 2019 onwards, the GMC will aim to limit any fee increases in line with inflation, to avoid large one-off increases in future years.