AMA pledges support for more GP control in Medicare Locals

THE debate over the leadership of Medicare Locals is set to intensify, with AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton pledging to visit each of the first 19 MLs in a personal effort to ensure GPs maintain a central role in the new bodies.

Dr Hambleton’s national tour, unveiled at his National Press Club speech last week, will be complemented by the establishment of local GP consultation groups in the first MLs announced.

“The AMA will do all it can to empower local GPs to have a leading role in Medicare Locals,” he said.

His decision comes amid concerns that GPs may no longer have a strong voice on the new bodies. MO understands that the ML contracts explicitly state the boards of the new bodies must not be dominated by a single profession.

Dr Arn Sprogis, a board member of NSW Hunter area division GP Access – which is currently renegotiating an ML contract following complaints from GPs of a perceived watering down of GP