GP leadership key to new Bateman venture

3 minute read

Henry Bateman’s new GP-led medical centre venture has recruited ex-RACGP president Professor Michael Kidd (above)

Henry Bateman’s new medical centre venture plans recruit up to 50 doctors per year for a network of “medical homes” run by GP leaders.  

The start-up, Cornerstone Health, now has former RACGP president Professor Michael Kidd on the board and is being be guided by several former senior executives of Mr Bateman’s old family firm, Primary Health Care. 

Professor Kidd was RACGP president from 2002 to 2006, and Head of the Department of General Practice at The University of Sydney between 1998 and 2009.

 “The model we have developed for Cornerstone Health places GPs at the front of the healthcare delivery, supported by specialists, allied, pharmacy nursing and diagnostic services,” Mr Bateman said.

“Unlike other models, the leadership of the practice will be by key GPs who work every day in that practice, and they will also share in the financial success of that practice. Doctors in our centres are independent contractors.” 

Cornerstone aims to open eight to 10 centres in the next three to five years, anticipating recruitment of between 40 and 50 doctors a year. 

The company says its Our Medical Home locations will be open 365 days a year from 7.00am to 10.00pm, with GPs, specialists, dentists, physiotherapists and allied healthcare providers supported by onsite X-ray, ultrasound, CT, pharmacy and pathology testing. 

“We’re not seeking to emulate other networks – we’re building a network with the interests of patients and doctors at its centre.” said Mr Bateman, who was in charge of Primary’s medical centres division until he quit the company founded by his father, Dr Ed Bateman, last year. 

“One of the key things I learned at Primary was if you have quality doctors delivering high-quality medicine, then you have a successful business.”

Ironically, Cornerstone’s GP recruitment drive comes at a time when Primary is continuing to scramble for more doctors. 

The industry giant has blamed its poor financial performance on the slow pace of recruitment after it cut working hours to improve working conditions for its GPs.  After adding 61 doctors in the six months to December, it aims to attract 70 more in the current half-year. 

Cornerstone’s network so far consists of two established practices – the Gold Coast Super Clinic and a practice at Milton, on the NSW south coast – and a new one, the Marsden Park Our Medical Home, opened in mid-March in Sydney’s northwest.  

The privately funded company has $40 million in equity and is funded by private investors including Mr Bateman.  

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