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Medical scrap: Doctors make new demand in turf war with chemists

Australia’s doctors have escalated their push to own chemists as a turf war with pharmacies continues.

The Australian Medical Association believes GPs should be allowed to own pharmacies because it could bring down drug costs through better competition and more appropriate targeted medication.

That comes against a backdrop of the powerful Pharmacy Guild lobbying for changes that will allow patients to claim rebates for vaccinations and medical consultations at chemists.

The doctors plan on taking their ownership request to federal health minister Greg Hunt.

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone says the community would benefit.

“Evidence would suggest that this is the last remaining cartel in the community that needs to be looked at in terms of anti-competitive practices,” Dr Bartone claimed.

“It’s also about improving health outcomes,” he said, comparing the system to the more integrated and collaborative approach in hospital wards.

Click PLAY to hear Ross and John interview Dr Tony Bartone