GPs question value of GMC membership

The GMC is facing financial meltdown as GPs question why they should pay £290 a year for it.

Last week’s regulation White Paper on medical regulation contained proposals to strip the GMC of its medical majority and powers of adjudication. The council will be unelected and answerable to parliament.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden described the situation as ‘simply taxation without representation’.

He warned that it would be difficult for one or two doctors to refuse to pay, but ‘if you get mass disobedience it becomes the government’s problem’.

‘I’m not endorsing that yet, but it happened in 1972 when the GMC first introduced charges,’ he added.

He said that doctors felt singled out for harsher treatment than any other profession and ‘none of this will stop another Shipman anyway’.

Dr Holden’s fears were echoed by the GMC’s longest serving GP member Dr Krishna Korlipara, who warned that ‘all hell could break loose’ if doctors felt disengaged with the GMC.

‘Doctors may want to ask why the profession should be paying for this,’ he said.

Asked if it had plans to tackle the potential financial problems from the White Paper, a GMC spokeswoman said that it was ‘important that the GMC retains the profession’s confidence’.

‘However the majority of doctors are more concerned with ensuring that the members of the GMC have the appropriate skills and experience to deliver modern regulation,’ she said. ‘We believe the White Paper will engender patient trust.’

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