ACCC allows GPs to set own fees

For almost two years GPs – technically individual businesses, even in the same practice – were exposed to potential charges of anti-competitive behaviour after a similar authorisation held by the RACGP lapsed in mid-2011 after eight years.

After the college let its authorisation lapse, on the grounds it was no longer its core business, the AMA proposed to take over the service for its member GPs only. 

Following concerns from the college that the AMA proposal could leave non-members vulnerable, the AMA amended its proposal to apply to all GPs.

It was that AMA-led universal authorisation that the commission gave final approval to last week. 

It takes effect on 15 March and lasts five years.

“We want to ensure that GPs who engage in this type of conduct are not exposed to action under competition laws,” AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said.

“The decision will remove this