17 August 2023

AHPRA fees go up as notifications multiply

AHPRA Finance

AHPRA and the Medical Board of Australia are raising registration fees for medical practitioners this month, citing the growing number of notifications and the cosmetic surgery reforms among its reasons.

The MBA website says the registration renewal fee for medical practitioners (except NSW) will increase from $860 to $995 per year, or roughly 16%.

Application fees, which AHPRA and the boards say they have hitherto heavily subsidised for international medical graduates and waived for local graduates, were raised in July as these subsidies were “financially unsustainable”. A further raise for IMGs is coming in September.

The website reminds readers that each board has to cover the cost of its own regulatory activities as they are not government-funded, and says a smaller increase “regrettably” would not cover the actual cost of regulating the profession, according to a new cost allocation model using more complete data.

“Compounding factors that have increased regulatory costs in the last year include higher inflation, escalating numbers of notifications, more high-risk matters, cosmetic surgery reforms, stronger management of sexual boundary violations and the added costs of responding to Ministerial directions (eg the regulatory implications of increasing Australia’s health workforce safely),” it says.

“We recognise that this increase is coming at a tough time for many doctors, but without any government funding, we have no other option to pay for regulation.”

AMA president Professor Steve Robson has written to federal, state and territory ministers to protest, according to The Australian, since the justification for the fee hikes comes from initiatives determined by those ministers.

“We’re saying these additional projects over and above the normal running of the registration processes for health practitioners, if they’re coming from health ministers and they’re not a routine part of regulating health practitioners, then they should be funded by governments,” he told the paper.

Schedule of fees effective 9 August 2023