Practice hits BRW top 100 list as profits soar
A PRIVATELY run GP super clinic in remote WA has been named as one of the fastest growing companies in Australia in BRW’s Fast 100 list.
The Geraldton Medical Group was the only health service-related company to make the list, which is measured by percentage of revenue growth over a three-year period.
Revenue for the practice company – after all doctors were paid – jumped 44.6% to $2.61 million in the three years to 2007-08, ranking the business at 98 on the BRW list.
Initially set up with three GP partners in 2005, the practice now boasts 17 GPs with co-located pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry, pathology and paediatric services.
Practice principal and founding partner Dr Murray James-Wallace (pictured) said the Geraldton centre’s success was proof that the super clinic model could work, without government or corporate funding.
“It shows that GPs can actually successfully work together to provide better services for their patients if they can get organised,” said Dr James-Wallace. “You don’t have to be a corporate in order to do that – it is GPs taking control of their destiny.”
While doctors have autonomy over their billings, Dr James-Wallace said about 20% of all services were charged at AMA-recommended fees and the remainder were bulk-billed or charged somewhere in between. Doctors who provide industrial medicine and the coal mines charge privately. GPs also have control over the style of medicine they practise, unlike models of service mandated in some corporately run centres.
Dr James-Wallace said the key was sourcing quality staff and advice. “GPs have got to go out and be prepared to put their money where their mouths are and invest in getting good people to help them out.”
Practice management consultant David Dahm, who was heavily involved in setting up the centre, said the practice’s success was the result of economies of scale, a willingness of doctors to invest in the business, work with co-located professionals, diversify patient services, provide procedural services, and operate with a clear vision and business model.