Behind The News - 2 October 2012

For the past decade GPs could agree on fees within a practice because of a special authority granted to the RACGP by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

That has lapsed and now the AMA wants its own price-setting authority – for its members only.

Some industry leaders predict that, in practice, the ACCC would treat all GPs the same despite the exclusivity written into the AMA proposal. Others warn it could create a two-tier system where only select practitioners can collectively set prices for private patients, after hours rates and VMO visits.