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Reconsideration of AMA fee increase

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PM^_Nor 39/1971;


Statement by the Prim e M inister, Mr William McMahon

The Prim e M inister, Mr William McMahon, with the M inister for Health, Senator 1. J. Greenwood, and the D irector -G eneral of Health, S ir William Refshauge, today met Dr R. H. Macdonald, the President of the AMA and Dr E .G . Thomson, the F ederal S ecretary-G eneral of the AMA.

D r Macdonald explained the background to the problem of the recent decision by the AMA to an ac ro ss-th e-b o ard increase in fees and sought to ascertain whether it was now open to the meeting of the A ssembly of 17 A pril to reconsider its position in the light of the new and m ore complete figures subm itted by the D epartm ent of Health. ·

The Prim e M inister said that the Government reaffirm ed jts belief that there was no justification for the a c ro ss - the -board increases previously subm itted and that the existing Government decision still; stood that unless there was agreem ent between the Government and the AMA, there should be reco u rse to arbitration., However, the Prime

M inister said that it was s till open for the AMA to reconsider its ; recom m endations and put them before the Government* ·

The Prim e M inister suggested that one possibility which the AMA might explore was a variation of its fee recom m endation proposals announced e a rlie r, so hs to lim it the in creases in common fees to i general practitioner Surgery Consultations and home Visits as from

1 July 1971, leaving unaltered for the tim e being the p resen t common fees for a ll other se rv ic es such as radiology, pathology, anaesthesia, operations and specialist consultations. These would be considered la ter in light of a ll new inform ation available.

Should the AMA wish to advance any further proposals, they could be subm itted to the M inister for Health to explore in detail with the AMA.

CANBERRA, ?e. M arch 1971.