By Helen Carter
The Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) has again frozen its national registration fee for optometrists, keeping it at $300 for the third year in a row.
The annual renewal fee applies from 10 September 2018 and covers the registration period for most optometrists from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019.
The fees are published each year by the national boards which regulate 15 registered health professions under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law enforced in each state and territory.
Registration in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme means health practitioners can register once and practise anywhere in Australia.
The OBA is among seven national boards which have held fees stable while four have increased fees.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency CEO, Martin Fletcher, said fees set for all the national boards reflected that demands on the national scheme were growing each year.
‘We now have 700,000 plus registered health practitioners across the professions and the numbers continue to grow,’ he said in a media release on 10 September.
‘There has been an increase in our costs, in particular in responding to an increase in complaints, and we are investing in modernising our information technology systems in order to meet the public and practitioner expectation of quicker, online services.
'We work closely with the national boards to consider the fees very carefully. Registration fees must fully fund the costs of regulating each profession in the national scheme.’
Registration fees support the development of national standards for the professions, to ensure that the trust people place in registered health practitioners is being met through practitioners who are fully trained and competent to practise.
OBA fees have been dropping consistently since 2012-2013.
OBA registration fees