ADF  Senior Doctors proposal should lower registration fees – 15 August 2011

“Recent claims by an unnamed spokesman for the Medical Board of Australia1 that a new registration category for senior doctors, as proposed by the Australian Doctors’ Fund (ADF) would increase medical registration fees were nonsensical”, Dr Stan Doumani, spokesman for the ADF said in Canberra today.

“We would like to see medical registration fees reduced for all doctors regardless of registration category”, Dr Doumani said.

The ADF draws attention to public comments by the Federal Vice President of the AMA, Prof Geoffrey Dobb that recent increases in medical registration fees should not have occurred and that “this comes on top of registration fees for doctors increasing in AHPRA’s first year by nearly 85% over the national average fees that applied prior to the introduction of the new system” and that “it would be more appropriate for AHPRA to adopt better business practices and create efficiencies in its operations.2

“There is nothing in our Senior Active Doctor’s proposal that would give any reason for the Board to increase registration fees. The Board appears to be saying that the only objection to our proposal is the cost of its implementation”, Dr Doumani said.

The Senior Active Doctors category is not designed for doctors who want to continue in full time practice. Having senior doctors continue to stay on the register and pay a reasonable registration fee of $100 per annum, instead of walking away from their profession and paying nothing, can only add to registration fee income.

Dr Doumani said, “Claims reported in the Medical Observer, by an unnamed spokesperson for the Medical Board of Australia, that ‘the Board, did not have the power to create new categories of registration’ reinforces concerns across the Australian medical profession that the Board is nothing more than a rubber stamp of AHPRA with no power and no ability to independently regulate the profession.”

“The ADF wants to see a Board that is able to make decisions to improve the regulation of the profession and help it continue to serve the Australian people as one of our most important national assets. Retaining our senior doctors’ contribution is an urgent and worthwhile goal for the Medical Board of Australia to achieve”, Dr Doumani said.

Stephen Milgate 02 9567 5595, 0425 283 411
Dr Stan Doumani 02 6288 6008 (BH)

1. As reported in “Cheap fees for senior docs could mean hike for the rest”, Medical Observer, 8 Aug, 2011.
2. AHPRA’s performance does not warrant fee increase, Federal AMA media release, 6/7/2011