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Southern Cross Ventures Into General Practice

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Southern Cross Ventures Into General Practice

Southern Cross Primary Care is taking its first steps in the establishment of a new national general practice network.

Southern Cross Primary Care (SCPC) has signed a conditional agreement to take a 20% stake in a partnership set up to run the business of leading Rodney District practice, Silverdale Medical. The remaining 80% of the partnership entity will be held by the current Silverdale Medical owners. The business will continue to trade as Silverdale Medical.

Dr Ian McPherson, CEO of the Southern Cross Healthcare Group, says the Silverdale Medical partnership is a forerunner in setting up the foundations of a national network. He says SCPC hopes to establish partnerships with a number of large and progressive practices in coming months, and collectively those foundation practices will collaborate in the development of clinical and business models that will be positive for practitioners and patients alike.

"Our intention is to take an initial 20% stake in partnerships with the owners of around 10 large and progressive practices. As those relationships mature and the network takes shape, SCPC's goal is to become a 50:50 partner with practitioners, launch a new Southern Cross general practice brand, and kick-on from there in collaboratively exploring further growth opportunities."

Southern Cross Primary Care is part of the not-for-profit Southern Cross Healthcare Group and operates independently and at arms length from the Southern Cross Hospitals, Travel Insurance and Health Insurance businesses.

Silverdale Medical is a high qualityintegrated healthcare facility, whose doctors, nurses and allied health professionals provide a wide variety of medical services to patients in the Rodney District and further afield.

"We are delighted to enter into our first partnership with Silverdale Medical and are very excited about the future possibilities for general practice in New Zealand. In the past 18 months we have found there's a strong appetite among progressive general practices like Silverdale to create greater value for patients through such things as delivering more minor surgical procedures and establishing systems to better co-ordinate chronic health conditions in areas like cardiac care.

"We think the SCPC network - in collaboration with foundation practices like Silverdale Medical - will be in a great position to lead the market in areas like this," Dr McPherson says.

Silverdale Medical's Dr Warren Groarke agrees, saying the long term objective of its partnership with Southern Cross Primary Care is to increase the role general practice has within the Rodney District and New Zealand health sector, to help ensure New Zealanders have access to quality and better value for money primary healthcare services.

"Silverdale Medical was particularly attracted to this partnership because it builds on our vision of providing high quality general medical and extended primary care clinical services. Developing new clinical pathways with SCPC is an ideal coming together of like minded organisations. We share the same goals and ambitions."

Dr Groarke says discussions with SCPC grew out of a separate relationship it had built with the Southern Cross Hospitals business, with whom it is looking to partner in the establishment of a new health campus in the heart of the Hibiscus Coast area, that's is currently on track to open in 2013. That campus will encompass a range of allied health services to complement Silverdale Medical's general practice, and is ultimately planned to include private surgical hospital facilities.

Dr McPherson says SCPC believes it's important that the GPs it partners with retain a significant ownership stake, initially in their own practice and potentially in the network as a whole.

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