Why do GPs move practices and how can we mitigate this risk? Every year Alecto Australia runs a survey to GPs asking a range of questions about their work, their billings and what they like about their practice. This year we asked them the question “If you are considering moving practices within the next 12 months, what would your primary reason be for making the move?”
The top reason is no surprise: 55% of GPs answered that this is the main reason they would leave their current practice. It may seem like we are not able to change this reason for leaving, however, there are a few ways you may be able to prevent this:
This all comes down to earnings and the stigma of bulk billing. No matter how popular bulk billing is becoming to the patients, many GPs strive to work in a mixed billing practice. This may be different to change if you are a bulk billing practice, however, if you focus on helping them earn well as per the above, the GPs will stay.
Alecto Australia always talks to GPs about the benefits of bulk billing. From this same survey, we were able to determine that GPs working in bulk billing usually earn more than those in mixed billing. Therefore, we are constantly fighting against stigma on behalf of bulk billing practices to help doctors understand that the reality may be better than the perception.
Sometimes improved working hours are a case of ‘the grass is greener’ and doctors move on because they don’t realise what is possible in their current practice. We have seen cases where GPs believe that your practice doesn’t offer them the ideal working hours and therefore are looking to move even though there may be solutions.
Of course it could be that the business model for your GP practice doesn’t allow for much flexibility, but maybe you have the ability to address the GPs concerns and prevent them leaving by implementing some of these ideas:
These reasons where the clear outstanding top 3 reasons why GPs would consider moving practices. There were many other responses including developing a special interest, busier practice, better location, and better nurses.
Knowing the key reasons and managing them may help you to retain your best doctors.
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