Doctors will have to fork out $135 extra for medical registration for the new financial year, after the Medical Board of Australia unveiled its biggest fee increase ever.
The 16% hike means doctors will need to pay a total of $995 to cover the 2023-24 registration period, which starts on 1 October.
Doctors in NSW will need to pay $930, up from $898 last year.
The move has raised protests from doctors groups, but the board says it has had no choice but to pass on a steep rise in the costs of regulation thanks to the cosmetic surgery reforms and other recent changes in medical practitioner regulation.
“AHPRA and the MBA have introduced a new model for allocating costs which reflects the actual complexity, volume, and time involved in medical regulation,” it said in an update last week (full statement below).
“The new model draws on more complete data and is based on independent financial advice.”
“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 said he had written to health ministers across the country to object to the move.
He also called on the Commonwealth to step in and provide funding to AHPRA, noting it was currently fully funded by practitioners’ registration fees.
“Much of this increase being driven by initiatives that have been determined by health ministers,” he added.
“This includes cosmetic surgery reforms and efforts to support the recruitment of international medical graduates.”
“There is a strong case for the Health Ministers’ meeting to consider additional funding for AHPRA so that it can perform its usual functions effectively while also being able to satisfy the increasing demands being placed on it by Health Ministers.”
Annual medical registration was $650 when the national scheme began in 2010.
|Read the board’s full statement on its 16% fee increase|
|In 2022/23 the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the MBA introduced a new model for allocating costs which reflects the actual complexity, volume, and time involved in medical regulation. The new model draws on more complete data and is based on independent financial advice.
Registration renewal fees
Since the National Scheme began in 2010, the MBA has kept registration renewal fees steady, limiting increases each year. Regrettably, more complete data shows that a small increase would not cover the actual cost of regulating the profession. 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).
To cover the cost of regulation, from 9 August 2023, the registration renewal fee for medical practitioners outside NSW will increase from $860 to $995 per year.
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.
Assessing applications for registration for medical practitioners is the first line of defence in protecting the public from unqualified, unethical and incompetent practitioners. It is also labour-intensive and costly. Historically, the MBA has shared the cost burden of managing applications for registration across the profession, so it was carried by doctors in all stages of their careers. The registration application process has been free for local graduate applicants and heavily subsidised for international medical graduates (IMGs).
More complete data about the actual costs of regulation, along with the increased workload involved in managing a larger volume of applications for medical registration (domestic and international), has made it clear that it is financially unsustainable for the Board to continue to subsidise application fees.
On 1 July 2023, the MBA adjusted some application fees to align more closely to the cost of managing them.
From 11 September the application fees for international medical graduates and general registration will also be adjusted.
We regret that these increases are unavoidable.
Medical Board of Australia
Schedule of fees effective 9 August 2023
*Payment of both an application fee and a registration fee is required at the time of application.
Please note that:
There are no fees for the registration of students.