The success of social distancing, isolation and elective surgery bans to combat COVID-19 has hit medical practices hard, with some business haemorrhaging up to 85 per cent of their bottom line.

General Practitioners (GPs) are reporting dramatic drops in the number of consultations which is a healthy outcome of fewer communicable diseases being transmitted including the common cold, gastroenteritis and STDs.

There is a misconception that the medical industry is booming during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the opposite is true.

A wonderful side effect of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the WA community is fewer people are suffering from other contact-related illnesses, but that is having a direct impact on medical businesses.

While the necessary restrictions on elective surgery have now been lifted, they have come at a tremendous cost to medical practices which are now in recovering.

In the short-term many medical businesses are reliant on JobKeeper to maintain staff levels and in the long-term they will need to reconfigure their finances to include contingency funding and business strategies to deal with similar situations.

There has never been a more critical time for businesses, particularly those that have been severely impacted by COVID-19, to focus on financial planning and building in financial safeguards to ensure their survival if we are faced with another pandemic.

Adversity always inspires innovation, and we have already seen WA-based researchers and medical teams participating in COVID-19 vacation trials, which if successful, will once-again highlight the world-class research and medical facilities our State has to offer.

Global tourism is likely to be impacted for months to come but WA’s resilience to the spread of COVID-19 could open up a whole new world for Perth to be a hub for medical tourism.

My expert financial opinion – medical and surgical businesses need to capitalise on the global perception that Western Australian is a world leader in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are here to help. We will continue to keep you updated on the latest stimulus measures and announcements. For more information, visit HLB Mann Judd’s COVID-19 Resource Centre to help you and your business in this challenging time.