The GMC said on Twitter/X that it needed to ‘review and agree fee levels’ in preparation for the regulation of physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).
The General Medical Council is set to regulate physician associates and anaesthesia associates, as well as doctors, by the end of 2024.
PAs can anticipate to pay a fee for GMC registration that is comparable to what they currently pay to the FPA Managed Voluntary Register, the GMC confirmed on Twitter.
The GMC said: “While we’ve said we plan to set initial fees for PAs and AAs close to the current fee for the FPA voluntary register, this is subject to change.”
Currently, Physician Associates must pass the national exam administered by the Royal College of Physicians in order to be admitted onto the PA managed voluntary register (PAMVR). The Faculty of Physician Associates is responsible for maintaining the PAMVR, and members pay approximately £221 annually for voluntary registration.
In the interest of patient safety, the FPA strongly encourages all employers (NHS trusts, GP, PA agencies, and private healthcare providers) of PAs to check the PAMVR status of the PA at regular intervals during the year.
In contrast, doctors must pay almost twice as much—£433 annually—to be listed on the GMC registr. Newly qualified doctors are discounted to £166 annually, and there are several fee reductions available for those on lower incomes.
The difference in GMC fees might also prove to be contentious, since physician associates’ and doctors’ salary differences are a frequent subject of discussion on the internet.
The GMC said: ‘PA/AA and doctor fees will differ as we take a range of factors into account when setting fees and align them with the cost of regulating each profession.’
The GMC did not provide additional information about what would be taken into account when determining the fees for PAs and AAs or whether the rate would be different from that of doctors.
But it did confirm that the introduction of PA/AA regulation would not be “financed by the fees paid by doctors.”
The legislative process to bring PAs and AAs into GMC regulation moved a step closer last week as it progressed through Parliament.