AMA President Professor Steve Robson has written to all state and territory Health Ministers to object to the magnitude of this increase. In the letter – quoted in an article in The Australian this morning – Prof Robson pointed out that the increase is triggered by the increased costs faced by Ahpra, which in turn is due to the many initiatives Ahpra is undertaking on behalf of Health Ministers, such as imposing restrictions on cosmetic surgeons and investing in recruiting international medical graduates (IMGs).
‘While Health Ministers appear more than willing to increase the workload of the Ahpra, you do not appear willing to help support this work with extra funding and have simply decided to impose what is effectively a tax on the profession,’ Professor Robson wrote. (If you have a subscription to The Australian, you can read the article here.)
Dr Williams’ letter to Mr Picton emphasised that doctors should not have to pay directly or indirectly for the work Ahpra is doing for the Health Ministers and governments. As doctors, of course we expect to have to meet stringent registration, accreditation, ethical and operational standards, and to pay for the enforcement of processes related to these standards. However, we do not accept that such an increase in the payment for these services is justified, especially as some of us struggle through lengthy Ahpra notifications and the distress these bring to us and our families, and which comes as doctors contribute to measures to improve our health system at the commonwealth, state and local levels.
Please know we are arguing for you and your colleagues on this and many other fronts. From campaigning against ‘scope creep’ to challenging new interpretations of payroll tax law, the AMA is working for you, for the profession and for our patients. We will continue to keep members informed.