Tell us what you think: Self education expenses, Medicare Locals and PNIP

APNA is keen to hear your experiences and get your input on key issues we are currently raising with the Federal Government.

Please help us to provide a strong voice for you, and send your input to editor@apna.asn.au.

1. Proposed tax on self-education expenses

The Federal Government is proposing to put a $2000 annual cap on the amount a person can claim back through their tax, against their self-education expenses. This includes things like conference registration fees, travel and accommodation to attend conferences, CPD registration fees, the costs of undertaking university courses, etc. Previously there has been no limit on the amount that could be claimed back against out-of-pocket expenses on these kinds of activities. Medical groups are lobbying strongly against the cap.

We are concerned about the unintended consequences that this proposed

$2000 cap could have on nurses who are bearing their own costs for undertaking postgraduate courses, for upskilling through certificate courses or other professional development programs, or for attending conferences.

The government has put out a consultation paper and APNA is preparing input into a submission to the government on these issues.

We would like to hear from any members who believe the proposed cap will present a barrier to their education and professional development. If you can give us details of the impact the cap would have on you (or other nurses), and any ideas you have about what alternative approach should be taken. This will be really helpful in putting together our case.

2. Your experience with Medicare Locals

APNA has been asked to provide input into the national evaluation of Medicare Locals which is being undertaken by Ernst and Young along with the University of NSW and Monash University. We’re very keen to have input from our members around the country, on the following questions:

  • Can you please tell us about your relationship with your Medicare Local?
  • What are you looking for from your Medicare Local, and what do you think you can achieve by engaging with your Medicare Local?
  • What is helping to make this relationship work well, or hindering it from working well?
  • How would you like to see your relationship with your Medicare Local develop in the future?
  • Do you think your Medicare Local is making a difference, and in what ways?
  • In what ways do you think Medicare Locals are different from the former Divisions of General Practice, and what do you think Medicare Locals can achieve that Divisions did not?
  • What will be needed for Medicare Locals to be effective and sustainable primary health care organisations?
  • What do you think about the name “Medicare Local”?

3. Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP)

As outlined in the current issue of Primary Times, we’ve been hearing a range of feedback from members about the impact the PNIP is having in their practices. The government is very keen to know more about what’s happening on the ground, and we’re keen to provide good information to help shape future funding arrangements for nursing in general practice.

Could you please send us your stories about PNIP and what it has meant for your practice. We need to hear from you whether your experience has been positive, or negative, or if you have seen no change at all we are keen to know that too.

What you had to say…

We had a strong response to this email and your feedback has been collected and de-identified for APNA to use for advocacy purposes. Please note responses are unedited and appear as written.

Click to read your feedback about:

  • Your experience of Medicare Locals
  • Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP)
  • Proposed tax on self-education expenses

Getting your voices heard

One of the most important roles for APNA is listening to what our members have to say, and taking your issues forward to decision makers, including those in Federal Government.

We recently called for input from members on three key issues: how the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) has affected your practice; what level of support you are getting from Medicare Locals; and how the proposed $2000 per annum cap on tax deductibility for self-education expenses would affect your continuing professional development.

We received some really interesting and informative input from APNA members on all of these issues. We provided these responses, in de-identified format, to the APNA Board, and also published them on our website earlier this month. In addition to keeping APNA management and Board informed of your issues, your input is being used to influence policy more broadly. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what we’ve done with your input so far…

Keep reading APNA CEO Kathy Bell’s message.