Local, News

Optometry Board of Australia sets 2020–21 fee

The Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) has increased its annual registration fee for a second year in a row to align with indexation and will now cost $317.

The authority announced the 3% increase for 2020-21, with optometrists paying $9 more for than last year when fees rose 2.5% to $308.

The annual renewal for practitioners whose principal place of practice is New South Wales, which is a co-regulatory jurisdiction, is also $317.

Ian Bluntish.

Until last year, optometrists enjoyed a consistent fee of $300, which was first imposed in 2016-17 and frozen for two years. Prior to that, the sector saw consecutive price drops from a high of $415 in 2012-13.

According to the OBA, its decision to increase the fee by indexation for the 2020–21 period ensures it has sufficient income to carry out its duties and protect the public.

“The board is committed to keeping the fee as low as possible, while meeting its regulatory obligations to protect the public. To achieve this in past years we have been able to reduce or hold fee increases,” OBA chair Mr Ian Bluntish said.

“The board recognises that this is a challenging time for health practitioners and sincerely thanks practitioners for their continuing commitment and professionalism.”

Optometry was one of eight disciplines to experience a 3% fee hike, along with dental ($701), medical ($811), medical radiation practice ($197), nursing and midwifery ($180), occupational therapy ($116), pharmacy ($420) and physiotherapy ($148).

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) CEO Mr Martin Fletcher highlighted the significant role of health practitioners in response to COVID-19.

“2020 has shown us all how much we rely on health practitioners to keep us safe. Frontline health practitioners are playing a vital role in treating and containing COVID-19 and we are all sincerely grateful for your commitment, professionalism and for the care you provide,” he said.

“Registration fees fully cover the costs of the National Scheme and the work to regulate each of the 16 professions. AHPRA works closely with National Boards to make sure the fees set allow us to carry out our duties to ensure the community has access to a safe health workforce across all registered professions.”

The annual renewal fee will apply from 18 September 2020 and for most practitioners covers the registration period of 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021. Any variation to the fees for NSW practitioners is announced by the Health Professional Council Authority (HPCA) and detailed in the published fee schedule.

More reading

Freeze on OBA registration fee ends; 2.5% rise announced

Soapbox: Focus on professional development during isolation

Review into optometry complaints highlights need for clear communication

Send this to a friend