Mediation failure forces divisions to quit ML merger

DOUBTS about the federal government’s Medicare Local (ML) boundaries have re-emerged after mediation between two Sydney division-led bodies, aimed at forcing them into a single ML, collapsed.

Souring relations between a Bankstown division-led consortium and a group led by Macarthur and Southern Highlands divisions prior to the first ML deadline had previously prompted the AGPN to appoint a mediator so the parties could form an ML by next year.

But mediation has since failed, with Macarthur-Southern Highlands having now lodged its own bid, which could see it handed responsibility for the 35 practices it is locked in a feud with.

A Macarthur spokesperson told MO the group would not agree to further mediation until the fate of the ML had been decided.

Bankstown chair Dr Susan Harnett said if the department of health would not force Macarthur-Southern Highlands into more mediation, it should simply split the ML in two.