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Medical profession's attitude to common fees

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The Minister for Health, Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson said today that

it was a matter for great regret that the various organisations within the

medical profession were apparently unable to agree on a common attitude to

medical fees. It was evident that the Federal Executive of the Australian

Medical Association was maintaining a responsible attitude towards the

preservation of the common fee concept as instanced by the Federal President's

immediate repudiation of the irresponsible proposals of the Society of

General Practitioners.

Senator Anderson said he was also concerned that the Queensland Branch

Council of the A.M.A. had advised its members to ignore some recent changes

to the Schedule which had been made on recommendations by the Medical Benefits

Schedule Advisory Committee. The Council had in effect recommended its members

to accept the recommendations which increased fees and to ignore those where a

reduction was recommended. The Government could not agree with such a one­

sided approach.

"I have been in close consultation with the Federal Executive of the

A.M.A. for some time regarding the unsatisfactory level of observance of

medical most common fees, mainly in New South Wales.

" The issue of medical fees has been brought to a critical point by this

week's developments. I had hoped that the various differences in outlook within

the medical profession could have been resolved by responsible discussions

within the profession itself.

"This new critical element will have to be brought into the Government's

consideration of the overall situation when it has before it my report on

discussions that I have had.

'· I will be reporting to the Government at an early date." .

Dent. No. 18 ..... Canberra 2 March. 1972