The tricky birth of Camden Surgical Hospital
It’s not exactly easy building a new hospital but despite the many challenges involved, the team behind Camden Surgical Hospital have succeeded with flying colours.Learn More
Picture this: you’ve found the ideal spot to build your ideal practice. You’re in a growth suburb. A big development over the road is going to provide heaps of foot traffic. You’ve got everything in place in terms of finance, you’ve ticked all the boxes in your business plan… then the development over the road grinds to a halt, and you’re stuck with a ‘practice in a paddock’.
Dr Alice Frampton, a GP from Glebe Hill Family Practice in Tasmania found herself in exactly this situation. “The shopping centre that was going to be built over the road from us was delayed by five years. It was supposed to happen very quickly after we started our first practice, and then it went on the back burner. There was a road that was going to be built, on which we could access our staff carpark—but that was on hold too. It was all a little bit nerve-racking for the first few years.”
Dr Frampton’s husband, Kieran, who is the practice’s Business Manager, says this threw a spanner in the works of their plan; “We were setting our practice up to work with having the shopping centre there. It was quite hard to get things going from nothing.”
The Framptons hadn’t ever really wanted or expected to have their own practice. Dr Frampton hadn’t been interested in business or management. She liked medicine and particularly, she liked generalist medicine.
“I grew up in Tassie, and I studied medicine at the University of Tasmania,” she says. “And early on in medicine, I decided I wanted to be a GP. I just wanted to do a bit of everything and be a generalist.” She and Kieran met at their part-time jobs while they were students.
After training, Dr Frampton got a job in a corporate practice, which started to shift her opinions on business ownership. “People used to ask me, ‘Would you have your own practice?’ and I would say, ‘No way’. I didn't ever intend to take on business or management or leadership like that. Then after working as a GP for a few years, I became pretty disgruntled with the lack of governance and poor decision-making that wasn't centred around patient care.”
With two young children, Kieran resigned from his work as an Aviation Fire Fighter to look after the kids and allow Dr Frampton more freedom in her career. “Then we started to talk about having a practice and thinking about where might be a good place,” he says.
They were looking for a spot close to their home. Nearby, Glebe Hill Estate was a growth suburb—a new residential area with plenty of young families and plans for future development. When they found the site, they did a feasibility study, purchased their own piece of land, and began building.
“I was picturing a really functional, purpose-designed building that flowed really well with nursing spaces and procedure spaces and healthy consulting rooms,” says Dr Frampton. “I was picturing working with other GPs who had a similar mindset, and everybody was interested in teaching and training and learning.”
Finance was a little trickier. “No-one was happy to throw money at a greenfield site [or at someone] with a building owned in a self-managed super fund,” Kieran laughs. Luckily, they met BOQ Specialist’s Luke Truscott at a business seminar, where he was talking about financing medical practices through self-managed superfunds. “It was really refreshing when Luke put a bit of faith in us. He was encouraging and BOQ Specialist was able to back us financially so that we could actually achieve this,” says Dr Frampton.
That faith paid off. Finally, the shopping centre over the road was built—and by that time the practice was so busy, Dr Frampton and Kieran decided to open another practice inside the centre itself. “It's also panned out really well in terms of the group of practitioners that we are now working with,” says Dr Frampton. “The demand and the growth have been better than we thought it would be, which is great.”
Thinking about starting or growing your practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for setting up a practice.
Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.
The information contained in this webpage is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided.