Sonic gives in to GP pressure over Amcal tests

Sonic Healthcare has withdrawn its services from Amcal’s new pathology-based screening program following a GP backlash.

But the pharmacy banner group plans to continue the program and is investigating alternative pathology providers.

Sonic says it and subsidiary SmartHealth will no longer provide pathology services for the program at more than 100 Amcal pharmacies.

This follows “feedback from GPs”.

The company says the program is in line with a health department initiative for in-pharmacy screening to identify at-risk patients and refer them into the primary health care system.

However, many GPs expressed concerns about the initiative, it says in a statement.

Amacal’s owner, Sigma, says Sonic’s decision is “disappointing”, given how hard both parties had worked on the program.

 “This pathology program is about