On 30 October 2013, the ACCC announced its decision to reauthorise for five years the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and its state associations (RDAA) to collectively negotiate with:

  • state and territory health departments;
  • the Country Health South Australia Local Hospital Network; and
  • the Western Australia Country Health Service Local Hospital Network.

However, the ACCC did not extend authorisation to allow collective negotiation with Medicare Locals and Local Hospital Networks, as requested by the RDAA. The ACCC noted that these are smaller entities than state and territory health departments and as Medicare Locals and Local Hospital Networks provide tailored healthcare solutions in geographically defined areas, rural doctors negotiating at the local level already have a greater input into the terms and conditions of their agreements. As such, the ACCC considered that collective negotiation may adversely impact the ability to negotiate tailored solutions.