A pioneering private healthcare centre specialising in medical treatment for Birmingham’s booming business and professional services sector has opened its doors.
CityDoc is the brainchild of doctors Eoghan MacSweeney and James Ghalaey, who have established two medical clinics in London, one in Wimpole Street and the other in The City itself.
The pair have experience in both general practice and corporate medicine. The practices have been a success and the business model is now being rolled out to other parts of the UK, with Birmingham being the first to benefit.
The new clinic is situated in Maddox House, Edmund Street, in the heart of the city’s business quarter.
Dr MacSweeney said: "We are finding that people are cash rich but time sensitive these days and unfortunately a lot of people are neglecting their health because they can never get to see their own GP.
"If that service is available to them close to where they work and they can visit during working hours then they are far more inclined to use it – at least this is our experience in London and we have no reason to believe it is any different anywhere else."
He said Birmingham had been chosen as the location for the first practice outside London because of its thriving business community.
"Birmingham is the UK’s leading business and professional services centre outside of the capital so it made perfect sense for us to begin our national expansion plans here," said Dr MacSweeney, who is a former GP with experience as a forensic psychiatrist and police surgeon.
"Our practices in the capital show that there is a huge demand for facilities such as this in areas where professional corporate organisations are thriving and we’re extremely excited about opening our Birmingham operation."
The business and professional services sector is home to 200 law firms, 50 major property services and one of Europe’s largest insurance markets, with a workforce of 90,000 projected to increase by more than 20,000 by 2012.
Individual workers or businesses will be able to receive same day examinations and necessary referrals for everything from blood pressure tests to travel vaccinations.
"Four times as many working hours are lost each year as a result of visits to the doctor as were lost to industrial action because staff have no choice but to visit their surgery during office hours. This costs the UK economy £1 billion each year," said Dr MacSweeney. "CityDoc is partly a response to the inflexible and business unfriendly service that employers are having to put up with."
So instead of having to wait several days for appointments for often minor ailments or health issues followed by time off to visit their NHS GP, people will now be able to be treated in a fraction of the time. In due course, CityDoc will be looking to work with as many of the city’s leading businesses as possible in order to showcase the benefits of healthcare packages.
It has already attended networking sessions and said the response had been very favourable.
It will offer three different types of services: corporate membership which gives a 15 per cent discount across all services, corporate consultation packages which offers companies the chance to buy appointments for their team, and bespoke corporate packages which provide a tailor-made service for the needs of companies.
The doctors hope the practice will succeed by guaranteeing same-day appointments, while they are also arranging to attend regular sessions at larger workplaces.
Dr MacSweeney said: "We are absolutely convinced that CityDoc is what Birmingham’s business and professional services sector needs and we are excited about coming to a city that is clearly on the up."