22 December 2010
Newly qualified doctors are to save £255 in their first years of registration after the GMC announced it is to cut fees for those at the start of their career.
Provisionally-registered doctors will pay £100 a year, down from £145, and the cost of the first year of full registration has been halved to £210 (1). These changes take effect from 1 April 2011.
Fourteen thousand doctors will be helped by this change next year, saving a combined total of around £1.8m.
The fee reduction is part of a package of measures agreed by the GMC’s Council at its meeting yesterday in recognition of the challenging financial circumstances many doctors face, particularly those who recently qualified or who are at the lower end of the income scale.
Any doctor whose total annual income is less than £26,000 will qualify for a 50% discount in their annual retention fees from 1 April 2011, after the GMC increased the income discount threshold from £22,190; an increase of 17%.
Doctors applying for entry to the Specialist Register or GP Register will also face lower fees (2). The cost of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration or GP Registration (CESR or CEGPR) will be reduced by £305. This change will take effect from today (9 December). It will now cost £500 for a CCT and £1,600 for a CESR or CEGPR.
The main Annual Retention Fee is being frozen at £420 for 2011/12.
The GMC has been able to reduce or freeze fees for doctors by improving the efficiency of its operations, with savings of between 3-5% across different parts of the organisation.
Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the GMC, said:
“These are difficult times for doctors, especially for those who have recently qualified and have large student debts. It is incumbent upon us to ensure we provide value for money and, as far as we can, control our costs.
“We are facing increased demand, particularly with the rise in fitness to practise cases, but this year we have managed to make savings and improve our efficiency. Looking forward, we will do whatever we can to keep fees to a minimum while continuing to help improve standards and protect patients.”