Health professionals increase fees

The Health Professions Council of South Africa said on Sunday it was putting up its annual fees because of increased administrative costs.

”The figures we reached are not grotesque and council will continue looking at better models of financing its business so as to alleviate the burden on practitioners,” said Council Registrar Boyce Mkhize.

Different percentage increases will be worked out through a formula. The formula will take into account factors such as the number of practitioners on the register and the combined income strength.

HPSCA spokesperson Tendai Dhliwayo said the increase had also been caused by the rising costs of executing disciplinary cases the council must investigate and where necessary, prosecute.

Dhliwayo said the budget was hugely strained because last year the council’s increases had been nominal.

”In the year previous to that no increases were effected.”

The boards of speech, language and hearing professionals and of dental therapy and oral hygiene professionals will be the hardest hit by the increases.

Most practitioners in these boards will now have to pay around R1 049 and R1 028 respectively.

In contrast, food inspectors in the Environmental Health Professional Board are expected to pay R90 a year.

”Doctors and dentists in the Medical and Dental Professions Board are now paying R1 090 and R1 091 respectively, including a special levy of R171 aimed at covering their legal costs.”

Dhliwayo said he HPCSA was not subsidised by government and therefore was heavily reliant on fees and fines that practitioners pay.

The fee increases will be effective from April 1. – Sapa

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