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AHPRA Fee Rip Off !

Discussion in 'Australia' started by surfboy, Nov 28, 2013.


Do you think the AHRPA yearly renewal fee is excessive?

  1. YES

    23 vote(s)
  2. NO

    5 vote(s)
  1. surfboy

    surfboy Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    I recently coughed up the $419 for AHPRA registration.

    I have to say, I think it's a bit excessive. Say there are 4000 Podiatrists in Australia.. this equates to $1,676,000 of fees.

    There are around 9000 Physiotherapists in Australia. Equating to $3,771,000 of fees.

    On top of dentists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, chinese herbalists, etc... Literally millions and millions of dollars collected in registration fees alone.

    I don't believe for a second that the AHRPA offices cost that much to run every year.

    So, where exactly is all this money going to ??? With all these millions of dollars collected, we are still only allocated a lousy 5 EPC visits a year. Surely it could go to funding additional allied health services, for instance ?
  2. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member


    C'mon mate - I don't see any of your patients on these Boards complaining about your fee's! Fair crack of the whip!

    If you think AHPRA fee's are so expensive what do you think about APodA fee's? What about your Undergraduate fee's? Post graduate fee's? Other rprofessional Association fee's (Diabetes Australia, SMA, ACPS, ACPSM, wound care Australia etc...) ?

    You don't have to pay your professional registration fee's if you don't want you know. Its not compulsory. :)
  3. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member


    The varying Boards within AHPRA all charge different rates, depending on their costs as a % of the total AHPRA operating costs. So nurses pay $160 and Medical $695.
    And where does the money go... A lot to lawyers, and a lot to travel. And all board/panel members are paid for their time.
  4. vegetarm

    vegetarm Member

    That's a lot better than the $992 we have to pay here in NZ without the added benefit of prescription rights!
  5. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Just to put it into perspective though - its less than the cost of two cups of coffee per week. For a compulsory Board that allows you to work, Registers you as a Health Professional in the eyes of the public and allows you to make a good decent living - I don't believe it is too much to ask!

    Surfboy raises this issue (spending money on professional requirements) at least once yearly - I believe last year it was the cost of continuing education he was complaining about.
  6. Kara47

    Kara47 Active Member

    I can't remember the exact fee I paid last year but it was in the $300 range. Thought it was a bit rude to increase it with no explanation!
  7. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Quite right - it is not compulsory. I did not - and, as of yesterday, am now unregistered! Rob
  8. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

    I only had to pay $377....how come you paid $419?
  9. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Kara I think the Board did explain it somewhat in the monthly bulletins they release - i'll try and dig it up on Pod Arena here, Craig and the admins link to it monthly.
  10. surfboy

    surfboy Active Member

    Now hang on, this is very interesting.... Thanks Nat Smith.
    Why do Victorian Podiatrists only pay $377?
    But NSW Podiatrists pay $419 ?

    Any ideas colleagues ?
  11. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Because somebody has to pay for the extra administrative costs of a separate complaints system in NSW:

    All the other states are via AHPRA for that except NSW ..
  12. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    We have the Podiatry Council of NSW I believe.....
  13. dougj777

    dougj777 Welcome New Poster

    Surfboy raises a fair question - are podiatry registration (and other) fees too expensive?

    It's worth stating upfront that registration is important for protecting the public from rogue practitioners, which in turn improves the credibility of the profession.

    Additionally, having a national registration board is a big improvement over the old state based approach.

    And at the end of the day, registration, association, and insurance fees are usually tax deductible, so it's not always an 'expense' as such.

    That said, it is reasonable to question whether fees are fair and equitable, especially when compared to other allied health professions (in this case, Physiotherapists).


    AHPRA registration:

    Podiatry: $377 (9 board members overseeing 3,768 registered podiatrists)

    Physiotherapy: $179 (12 board members overseeing 23,734 registered general physiotherapists)

    P.I. Insurance:

    Approximately the same for $20M cover (or provided free under APA membership)

    Association membership:

    Approximately $800pa for either APA or APodC


    So, is AHPRA for podiatrists is expensive? Well, it is more than double that of a comparable allied health profession. Are podiatrists that much more expensive to police?

    While comparing health profession fees (probably been covered previously, but while I'm on a roll) - are Podiatry association membership fees expensive? For approximately the same annual fee (which is greatly discounted for the first 3 years for Physio new grads) members receive a monthly magazine. However APA members also receive:

    -a quarterly professional journal,

    -$20M P.I. insurance,

    -also Private Health insurers provide rebates for Physiotherapy on even the most basic level of extras cover (Podiatry usually requires high level cover).

    That's just a quick side by side comparison.

    Surely it's only fair to expect equitable fees - or at least equivalent benefits for those same fees?
  14. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    See Stephens post above. It by far a numbers game: Numbers of physios dwarfs the number of Podiatrists. In respect to numbers, if anything you could say Physio is being overcharged!
  15. APodC

    APodC Active Member

    Hi all,

    It's worth understanding that the Podiatry Board of Australia and AHPRA are two separate entities.

    The Podiatry Board of Australia (PBA) along with all other health registration boards contract AHPRA to provide central management and support. The PBA fee goes to the PBA.

    The breakdown of income, expenses and retained earnings are all available in the AHPRA annual report.

    In 2012/13, the PBA earned $1.4mil in revenue and paid $1.0mil in expenses. The PBA holds $1.4mil in reserves primarily in case they need to run legal cases. The reserves have needed to be rebuilt as state reserves didn't necessarily get handed to the national board.

    The breakdown of registrants, complaints and finances are pretty transparent and it comes with being a registered health professional. Without registration we'd likely have to give up a chunk of the current scope of practice and no doubt a heap of questionable poorly skilled people could legitimately call themselves podiatrists.

    This year, the NSW fee was higher than the national fee because of the additional cost of running a separate state based complaints system.

    Our advocacy has been focused on asking AHPRA to demonstrate ongoing improvements in efficiency so as to keep prices from escalating. In some areas they've done well (eg. online renewals of 93%) while in others areas there's more work to be done.
  16. trevor

    trevor Active Member

    The AHPRA income for 20011-12 was $157 million I could not find the latest figures.
  17. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    I guess the main issue I have with AHPRA/PBA fees, is that I would have expected that economies of scale derived from moving from individual state boards (?6 or 7) to a single national board should have created operational efficiency dividends and reduced costs to continue to regulate public safety.

    Instead, fees appear to have risen significantly higher than under previous state based arrangements - when the opposite should have occurred.

    This was the line sold to the medical profession form the outset, and they continue to grumble about the hikes in registration fees since the introduction of the MBA...

  18. footsteps2

    footsteps2 Active Member

    Can you get Liability Insurance without being registered, I don't think so?

    If I wasn't registered I would lose 4 big contracts immediately that I do in regional QLD and I earn a lot more than $400 for those...I am not complaining but I do not pay Pod Association Membership as not really sure what I would get out of it and if it is worth the cost.
  19. Atlas

    Atlas Well-Known Member

    This is probably the fact of the thread.

    If these figures are correct, then we are due an explanation as to the massive discrepancy. If it is warranted, we will pay our 2 coffees per week gladly.

    Surfboy should run for the board in July with a Tony Abbott type mandate. I hope he has more brains than Abbott though.
  20. APodC

    APodC Active Member

    Hi Atlas,

    One of the things that every health profession fought hard for was for the system to prevent cross subsidization. Therefore, all of the costs for podiatry can only be met by fees from podiatrists. The difference between physio and podiatry is solely based on physio having more practitioners to spread the cost over.

    The size of the national board is set by the ministerial council (all state and the federal health ministers collectively).

    The APodC's view is that there was a promise of greater efficiency which has yet to be delivered. AHPRA have reported that they have now gotten over the bulk of the setup costs and expect to be able start to achieving economies of scale (which has happened in some cases - eg. 93% online renewals last year). Our job is to keep the pressure on and keep agitating for better efficiency (thanks to the APodA members who's capitation to the APodC fund this important advocacy).

    We are concerned about costs in NSW with duplicated administrative overheads to run two separate systems. We're also watching Queensland closely as we have concerns that the creation of a new bureaucracy will drive up costs (but in QLD the costs come out of the national scheme which concerns us as it may impact on scale and efficiency). I'm predicting that QLD will end up with a fee higher than the national fee within three years.

    The big problem is that we seem to be trying to be half pregnant which will invariably open the door for a blame game around who caused higher registration fees - with podiatrists footing the bill. Not on in my book!!

    The more concerning question isn't what it costs now but what will it cost in five years time with duplicated state and national systems. State and federal ministers must pick one model and commit to it for at least five years with solid efficiency targets.
  21. surfboy

    surfboy Active Member

    Thanks. Lets talk a bit more about these "duplicated administrative overheads".

    Can anyone please explain to me why the Health Care Complaints Commission was not shut down when AHPRA formed? The HCCC handles complaints about health practitioners in Nsw, whereas in every other state complaint handling is dealt with by AHPRA.

    It seems pointless and a waste of resources and money that the NSW complaints arm was continued, whilst every single other state in Australia opted for complaint handling through the newly formed AHPRA.

    It is a completely duplicated administrative process.
  22. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    Because the NSW government at the time chose to keep their existing complaints system, feeling that it was a more superior system to that proposed by AHPRA.
  23. APodC

    APodC Active Member

    That sums it up nicely Stephen.

    There is an agreement between the registration boards and the HCCC to avoid both organisations from investigating the same complaint however in 2013 the cost of running both systems resulted in NSW Podiatrists and Osteopaths paying more than the national fee.

    QLD have also just introduced a new level of local complaints handling which I expect will also push up the price just as AHPRA is under pressure to capitalise on the efficiencies they've created.

    We're looking forward to this years review of national registration. Hopefully we can get them to adjust the model to get ministers back to the table on an efficient system of registration.
  24. trevor

    trevor Active Member

    Just on the subject of registration.
    The titles "Podiatrist"and "Chiropodist" are protected and cannot be used unless you are APRHA registered.
    Under Victorian law the penalty $30,000 I think was what I read in a law institute report.

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