GPs threaten to walk over Medicare Locals contracts

GPs at a division awarded one of the first Medicare Locals contracts have warned the Federal Government that they will “walk away” from the deal if they are forced to give up control on their boards.

Medical Observer understands the contracts, sent to many of the first 19 winning bidders in recent weeks, explicitly state the Medicare Local (ML) must have a board of 7–10 directors with no single profession dominating.

NSW division GP Access is involved in one of the first tranche of MLs, and currently has six GPs among its eight board members. Board member Dr Arn Sprogis said the clause was “obviously aimed at GPs”.

“No other organisation would put up with such a prescriptive clause,” he told MO.

Dr Sprogis said for the first five years of transition from GP divisions to MLs “all the heavy lifting... has to be done by GPs”. 

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