Should you start up your own private medical practice ?

Should you start up your own private medical practice ?
0 comments, 29/01/2016, by , in Business

It’s an undeniable fact that the private health sector is here to stay. In 2014, the NHS signed £9.63bn worth of deals, and nearly half of those deals went directly to private providers. If you’re considering opening up your own independent practice as a fully licenced GP with ideally a few years of experience under your belt, it surely won’t be an easy feat but it will definitely pay off.

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Earnings

Most GPs who have decided to start up their own practice report the invaluable satisfaction to be able to dedicate more time to each patient and subsequent higher professional satisfaction, as well as higher earnings: salaried GPs earn between  £55,000 and £80,000 depending on experience, while independent practitioners earn around £105,000 on average.

Price guidelines range from £70 to £130 per consultation. Being able to set up your own fee is attractive, and in return you are able to give more time to your patients who are expecting a higher level of personal care than they would typically receive in public health services. It’s easy to see how this makes for a much less stressful and frustrating working arrangement for both parties involved.

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Requirements

All doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC), including independent GPs, should observe the same set of guidelines, responsibilities and requirements which together form the ‘Duties of the Doctor’, as defined by the GMC. The same goes about doctors revalidation, as it is compulsory for any registered doctor to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are fit to work and up to date.

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Setting up the practice

With the costs of rent or mortgage and equipment, it’s quite expensive to set up your own practice and you will most likely need to borrow a substantial amount. What’s more, getting a specific health provider insurance contract will require some serious effort, as will getting your head around all the legal and financial procedures. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice to accountants and solicitors specialised in the sector.

With the right loan, suitable premises in a good location and insurance, you’ll be good to go!

Attracting new patients

Building a strong patient base is essential when you’re starting out. Advertise your practice in brochures and leaflets and be flexible: offer home visits, work weekends. Most important of all, be nice! This will get you recommendations from your patients to their friends and families.

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Billing regulations
As an independent doctor you are responsible for deciding what you charge. This is why you should have very clear terms of business. Each patient should be given a letter of engagement specifying fees, what they cover, payment methods and interest charges. Always make sure to refer to the GMS contract if you’re in doubt.

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