General practice tool kit

Your practice premises

Deciding on a location

Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

Finding a suitable location

Whether you choose to start a new practice, or buy or buy into an existing practice, you need to consider the location of the practice. What makes a suitable location will depend on your vision for your practice and whether it is in a rural, regional or metropolitan area.

Factors to consider include:

  • the area’s demographics
  • your personal and professional needs.

Conduct some market research of the area. Are there retail shops and other services in the area, or is it mainly residential? What is the supply and demand of general practice services in the area? Are there other general practices nearby? Are there other health services nearby, such as hospitals, pathology, allied health professionals?

Identify your intended patient profile, and compare it to the demographic profile of the area’s population (some PHNs have community profiles you can use). This will help you determine if this area will help you achieve your professional goals, and suit the skills and experience of the practice’s staff.

Identify the area’s current and future economic and infrastructure development so you can work out whether you will be able to expand your business, or if the demographics are likely to change.

How close is this area to your home and facilities such as schools? This is largely a personal preference, as you might decide you want to practice outside your residential area, or near to your children’s schools, or to live and work in the same community. Sometimes, you might not have a choice, particularly if you’re living in a rural area.

If you have a specific clinical interest (eg obstetrics, paediatrics), will the demographics of the area provide you with enough patients to let you develop this area of interest?