No one saw this pandemic coming. During the initial stages of the pandemic, the economic effect of the impact was underestimated and not many precautions were taken by health practices to brace themselves from detriment.
The news is out there, GP clinics dropping in 30% revenue, dental practices closing because they could not maintain their high rents or overheads due to costly fit outs, physiology and dieticians hiring rooms within medical centres suddenly out of work as clinics shut their doors to patients.
But it is not all doom and gloom for health practitioners. With the government subsidy for wages through the Jobkeeper program, the practices have been able to maintain their cash flow. Another welcome relief was the ability to defer payments on their loans which has allowed them to manage cash flow within the businesses whilst the peak of the pandemic was in play. Finally, practitioners were better able to negotiate good rental reductions and utilise rental deferral schemes, which has allowed the practitioners to better position themselves during the height of the pandemic.
Victoria has seen a second wave of infection spread, followed by New South Wales experiencing the same. This has resulted in some practices being forced back in to lock down, leaving only a few essential services being the only ones open. This will mean more practitioners that have survived the first wave, may not be as lucky the second time around.
The best way to handle this situation faced by health practices and practitioners is to tackle their financial health by approaching a suitably qualified person to give advice and guidance through their financial woes. More often than not, it is the last thing that is looked at, but it may be the most important factor that keeps their practice alive and running. Look out for next article going into practitioner’s finances and its relationship with their mental health.