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Chapter 5: The business and economics of general practice

5.2 Practice ownership

General practices in Australia can be owned by anyone. While almost three in four GPs report that their main practice is majority owned by a GP, there are many other ownership models represented, including shareholders (publicly listed companies), cooperatives, mutuals, not‑for-profits and university or government-owned agencies (Figure 58).

Figure 58. Many general practices are owned by GPs

Many general practices are owned by GPs

Measure: GP responses to the question ‘Who owns the majority (50% or more) of your main practice?’
Base: Responses to survey question, n = 1782
Source: EY Sweeney, RACGP GP Survey, May 2020.

One in three GPs (28%) report their main practice is networked with other practices – sharing human resources, payroll, marketing or clinical governance arrangements.5

One in four GPs (25%) report they own at least part of a general practice, and 15% report they are a majority owner of a general practice.5

Almost two in three (61%) GPs who do not own a practice report that they have no interest in becoming a practice owner in the future.5 This figure has increased from 58% in 2019 2 and 51% in 2017. 53
 

Younger GPs and male GPs are the most likely to indicate an interest in becoming a practice owner (Figure 59).

Twice as many male (22%) as female (11%) registrars express an interest in becoming a practice owner within the next five years.40

25%
of survey respondents
were practice owners5
46%
of practice owners
were female5
54%
of practice owners
were male5
17%
of practice owners
were aged ≤44 years5
83%
of practice owners
were aged ≥45 years5

Figure 59. Interest in practice ownership varies between age and gender divides

Interest in practice ownership varies between age and gender divides

Measure: GP responses to the question ‘How interested are you in owning your own practice in the future?’, split by GP personal characteristics
Base: Responses to survey question, n = 1345
Source: EY Sweeney, RACGP GP Survey, May 2020.

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