The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) is a statutory established in terms of the Health Professions Act, 56 of 1974; to provide for control over the education, training and registration for and practicing of health professions registered under the Act.
The nature of health professional regulation is that of self-regulation in which society confers a privilege of self-regulation to health professionals with the belief that they will act in the best interest of society., For this reason, the HPCSA does not receive any grant or subsidies from government or any other institution. It is wholly – funded by the fees it receives from registered persons representing the professions under its jurisdiction – meaning that the HPCSA is funded entirely by income generated from registered practitioners, which include Registrations, Annual Renewals and other fees levied for complimentary services as prescribed in terms of section 61 and 61A.
Practitioners are each year issued with an annual practicing certificate which is issued upon payment of the prescribed annual fee. Failure to pay annual fees when due on 01 April will result in a practitioner’s registration being suspended with a consequence that such a person must immediately cease to practice the profession in respect of which he or she is registered or to perform any act which he or she is his or her capacity as a registered person is entitled to perform, until such time as the suspension of his or her registration is lifted
The annual fees are utilised to cover all the costs to run the affairs of the HPCSA, including activities of the Council, professional boards and expenditure related to the administration. The determination of annual fees for each Professional Board is based on the size of the Board and the activities carried out by the particular Board during the course of the financial year. In doing so, Professional Boards considers all the means to prevent huge increases on annual fees before recommending the budget to Council for approval.
The 2020/21 annual fees were announced in February 2020, with an increase. The increase was necessitated by the fact that the HPCSA uses a cross-subsidisation model where all 12 Professional Boards under its ambit must carry the cost of Council.
The increase was also as a result of a significant drop in practitioner numbers for Emergency Care Professional Board (20% decrease), which decreases their revenue for annual fees and the percentage they contribute to HPCSA’s indirect expenditure. This impacts all other 11 Professional Boards as it increases their contribution of indirect cost, resulting in annual fees increasing above inflation. It should be noted that Emergency Care Board has contributed significantly to HPCSA revenue in the past (due to the high number of practitioners that were registered in that board, until recently when some registers under the board were discontinued).
Reduced EMB numbers and the sustained increased incidence of professional conduct cases and activities of specific Professional Boards have had a significant and material impact on annual fee increases in this financial year, with some Professional Boards more affected than others.
The latest HPCSA 2020/21 Annual Fees have been published and can be viewed here.