Uncertainty in Government environments all around Australia is driving medical practitioners to consider private practice more than ever before. And why wouldn’t they do so? The population is ageing, creating greater demand for specialised healthcare, the government is incentivising patients to pursue private health services, and talk is all around about a coming medical industry boom. But is private practice the right move for you, and what do Medical practitioners need to be careful of when you are considering a shift?
Doctors looking to make the change are testing the waters of change by increasing their private work and decreasing their public work in a move to reduce their reliance upon the public health system. For many it is about taking control over their ability to serve the community and succeed in business.
The benefits of private practice include governing your hours, governing your fees and creating greater certainty of income and lifestyle. Simply you gain control of your quest for work life balances that can be illusive in larger more bureaucratic organisations such as the public health system.
But opportunity is never without caution. And there are some planning considerations we offer to those contemplating a move into private practice:
Consideration must be taken in developing a strong referral network.
Whilst the grass must be greener, there is a ot of time to be spent in working with those who will refer clients to your practice, establishing and nurturing trust and proving credibility to both patient and referral network
Medical professionals who move into private practice need to develop a strong business mind
Your professional medical skills must be complemented by general business skills. The foundations can be set with the advice of experienced professional advisers in financial management, risk management and growth. Make an effort to select professionals who have experience working with medical professionals. Medical practices have many unique business processes, risks and opportunities that are not seen in other types of business. Seek the experts to provide expert results.
Developing a tactical business plan that can be followed in the lean amounts of time that you have as a practising professional.
Planning for expected income, control of expenses and deliberate use of capital is a priority when you start. This will give you a framework in which you can make strategic decisions and adjust your planning in future years to adapt to any environmental changes..
Thinking through best practice capital expenditure approach. Consider
Whether you can push major capex back into years two and three to allow for expenditure on growth. Success will depend on what type of practice you are assembling and whether you have investment for necessary infrastructure.
Consider changing your employment status and the implications on your superannuation commitments
What associated insurances do you need now that you no longer a Government employee?. You will need to replace your insurances have them, structured correctly for a medical business owner that is keen to both serve the community and accumulate wealth for retirement.
This article was written by Graham Campbell, Principal and Senior Financial Adviser.