Starting your own medical practice can be outright daunting. The decision to leave the security of your hospital job and move into private practice can be exciting while also being overwhelming. Here, we have put together a list of useful steps that will help you start your own clinic.
Just remember that starting an independent medical practice is not an easy task, and it brings with it many new responsibilities. This list has been developed using the guidelines provided by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
General Business Knowhow
Business management and development are not part of the curriculum at medical schools. Therefore, doctors need to develop general practice management skills in order to be able to look into location decisions, staffing arrangements, business structure for their practice, practice design as well as areas like financial management and quality improvements.
The first thing to consider when deciding on a location is visibility. Opening your clinic near existing health facilities, hospitals and pharmacies will help you generate a steady flow of clientele.
Similarly, factors like transport infrastructure and the availability of community facilities are also important location considerations when starting your new medical practice.
Borrowing and Financing
You need to establish how much you need to borrow in order to obtain a commercial property. In Australia, there are many different lending and borrowing solutions available for purchasing practice and acquiring commercial property by medical practitioners.
A bank loan can be an attractive option, and banks will lend you 80% of the total valuation of the property, which is usually less than the market price. Some financial institutions may even be willing to lend up to 100% of the valuation.
Construction cost will typically include the expenses that will be incurred during the construction process, including estimation of the quantities of work done or trade items needed. A feasibility estimate will provide you with a good approximation of the total cost of your project.
These estimations and calculations are prepared under budgeting and planning sections of your business plan. Besides construction expenses estimates, you will also need to understand your budget estimates, which are undertaken by the practice owner to assess upfront what the clinic is likely to cost to complete.
Another important consideration in financial planning is tender estimation, which serves as a detailed estimate of the total cost of the project and helps the owner clearly define the project scope and design.
Taxation will typically include land tax, council rates, stamp duty and leasing and fit-out. In Australia, land tax is a kind of state tax calculated on the value of land and is levied if you own your practice property.
Council rates are charged by municipal corporations in Australia on property improved values. On the other hand, stamp duty is collected by state governments in Australia on documents used in different transactions related to your private practice.