r in the Palestinian territory of Gaza in the early 1990s.
Meantime the South Australian president of the AMA, Peter Ford, called on the ACCC to recognise that doctors must sometimes work "in association" and that this did not mean "collusion".
"The ACCC needs to look at the context of doctors working as a group ... where its rulings can conflict with clinical scenarios," Dr Ford said.
For example, he said obstetricians working in a maternity unit could provide a better service if the staff and doctors "know each other well".
"If you have the door open for all-comers it may cause problems for that unit," he said.
And competition law also created confusion among other specialist doctors who work in teams, in setting their fees and in deciding which doctors would be in the team and who would be left out.
"In a team setting there is not only the issue of fees but also clinical considerations that don't apply in private business situations," Dr Ford said.
In 2002, the ACCC won an action against three obstetricians in Rockhampton, Queensland, who had agreed on higher fees if they treated the others' patients.
The action resulted in one of the doctors leaving Rockhampton, reducing obstetrics services in the region.
The AMA called it a "witch hunt".
Last month, in a rare win for doctors, the ACCC granted an authorisation to GPs working in the same practice, to allow them to set the same prices for consultations and hospital services.
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