Waiting game begins for first Medicare Locals

THE countdown to the announcement of the first 15 Medicare Locals to begin operation is now on, despite continued opposition from the AMA.

While the Health Department has not released a date for the announcement of successful applications, or the number received, an AGPN spokesperson said the network expected more than 50 tenders to have been submitted by the 5 April deadline.

The first 15 Medicare Locals are due to begin operations from 1 July. The tendering period and process have been marred by public feuds and stoushes between competing GP divisions.

Applicants planning to bid for the next round of Medicare Locals, scheduled to begin operating in January and July next year, have until 19 July to lodge proposals.

The AMA has meanwhile maintained its opposition to the establishment of Medicare Locals, pending further government consultation with the profession.