Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

08/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/04/2020 22:56

ACCC proposes to grant authorisation to the Australian Medical Association (New South Wales)

The ACCC has issued a draft determination proposing to grant conditional authorisation to enable the Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) (AMA NSW) and any participating visiting medical officer (VMO) to collectively negotiate with private hospitals and day surgeries licensed in New South Wales. The collective negotiations are for the terms and conditions (including remuneration) for VMOs engaged to provide medical services to public patients in the NSW private hospital system in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ACCC may grant authorisation which provides businesses with legal protection for arrangements that may otherwise risk breaching competition law but are not harmful to competition and/or are likely to result in overall public benefits. The ACCC considers that the arrangements are likely to result in public benefits by reducing transaction costs, reducing information asymmetries, and facilitating other contracting efficiencies. It may also support greater participation by VMOs in delivering services to public patients in private hospitals and it may support the continuation of training for junior doctors during the period of the pandemic.

The ACCC proposes to grant conditional authorisation until 30 September 2021. The conditions will allow for additional transparency and confidence of affected participants. The authorisation granted by the ACCC is for the sole purpose of allowing the AMA (NSW) to respond to the pandemic.

Further information about the ACCC's decision is available on the ACCC's public register at: AMA(NSW) - VMO collective bargaining in response to COVID-19.

Published date:
5 August 2020