Peter Costello

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Wilkinson Report - Implementation Of Recommendations



The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will receive funding of $2.3 million over three years to enable it to implement key elements of the Government's response to the Wilkinson report. The report was released by the Prime Minister on 10 November 2002, and examined the impact of the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (the Act) on the recruitment and retention of medical practitioners in rural and regional Australia.

The report found that the Act, and its administration by the ACCC, have little impact on the practice of medicine in rural and regional areas. However, it recommended that the ACCC improve its formal and informal relationship with the medical profession.

The Government is establishing a Health Services Advisory Committee, consisting of representatives of the ACCC, the medical profession (including rural practitioners), and consumer associations. The Committee will help doctors to better understand the requirements of the Act, and the ACCC to appreciate the circumstances faced by doctors as health service providers.

The ACCC will examine investigate issues relating to specific concerns raised by medical practitioners, particularly in relation to contracting with local hospitals and health authorities. The ACCC will also prepare new publications for medical practitioners to help improve their awareness of the Act.

In response to the Dawson Review, the Government also proposes to introduce a notification process for collective bargaining by small business and to streamline the authorisation process under the Act. The combined effect of these measures will be to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of the Act, especially for small businesses, including the medical profession.

The implementation of the response to the report, including the ACCC's activities, will be reviewed by the end of 2005.

Contact: David Alexander
Office of the Treasurer
(02) 6277 7340

13 May 2003

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