AMA calls on Small Business Ombudsman to intervene in pathology rents deal

4 Nov 2016

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, has written to Ms Kate Carnell AO, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, asking her to investigate the Government’s deal with Pathology Australia to put an unfair cap on the rents that pathology providers pay for authorised collection centres (ACC) co-located with general practices and other specialist practices.

The Ombudsman’s terms of reference include undertaking research and inquiries into legislation, policies and practices affecting small businesses and family enterprises. Given the extent of the impact of the proposed policy on small medical practices, the AMA believes her intervention is entirely warranted.

Dr Gannon’s letter states that Ms Carnell’s intervention in this matter could make a significant difference to the Government’s policy direction and highlights the need for a balanced approach to addressing concerns over alleged examples of inappropriate rents for ACCs, recognising the legitimate right of medical practices to get a fair deal in lease negotiations.

AMA advocacy is having an impact. The Health Minister has agreed to undertake more consultation with general practice and it looks increasingly likely that the planned 1 January 2017 start date will not be met.