GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (REGISTRATION
(FEES) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS) ORDER OF COUNCIL 2001 (S.I. 2001/3668)
1 As requested by the Joint Committee on Statutory
Instruments we submit further information relating to the increase
in Annual Retention Fees for 2002. We also attach a further copy
of our memorandum on this subject of 21 August 2001.
2 On 21 August the GMC submitted to the Clerk of
the Privy Council a memorandum setting out the reasons for the
3 This memorandum explained that GMC expenditure
would grow from £36m in 2001 to £44m in 2002 because
of the continuing growth in fitness to practise work. For example,
in 2002 the Professional Conduct Committee will sit in five or
six parallel panels throughout the year. This contrasts with two
or three parallel panels towards the end of 2000. In addition
the memorandum explained that it would be necessary to eliminate
a forecast deficit for 2001, and generate a surplus in 2002 in
order to restore reserves.
4 The increased Annual Retention Fee to £290
will produce a budgeted surplus of £7m in 2002 provided the
number of doctors on the register does not decrease. However,
we do not know the elasticity of demand and a 10% reduction in
those paying ARF would cut GMC income by over £4m.
5 The number of complaints against doctors continues
to rise. In addition we are embarking on a new revalidation programme
which will require additional resources over the next few years.
We therefore anticipate expenditure increases in future years.
6 We are continuing to pursue productivity improvements
in order to reduce costs or mitigate expenditure increases, for
example by moving work out of London. We therefore anticipate
that any future increases in total expenditure will be at a much
lower rate than the last few years.
7 There has been a depletion of reserves in each
of the past four years. The Annual Retention Fee for 2002 was
set at a level intended to create a surplus so that reserves could
be restored. Once reserves have returned to a satisfactory level
the fees will be set to cover expenditure each year. This is likely
to mean that future fee increases will be at a much lower rate
than recent years.