AMA to continue negotiating better conditions for rural doctors

24 March, 2014

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has welcomed the renewal of its existing authorisation from the ACCC, which allows the AMA to collectively bargain with State Health Departments in setting the terms and conditions for rural GP Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs).

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said the ACCC recognises that collective negotiation can create efficiencies and deliver reduced transaction costs through more effective input into contracts.

"It also reduces the time and resources spent on numerous negotiations," Dr Hambleton said.

"The ACCC accepted the AMA's submission that the ability to negotiate mutually beneficial contracts may also lead to greater attraction and retention of doctors in rural areas, where access to sufficient medical services could otherwise be limited."

The Authorisation is for a period of ten years and covers all States except NSW (AMA NSW has authorisation in its own right) and the ACT (not a rural area).