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Why Corporate Health matters

I had the unique opportunity to travel the world with Cirque Du Soleil as a Physiotherapist, and during my adventures, I gained insight into how different countries manage the health of their citizens. While some healthcare systems impressed me, others left me feeling uneasy when I had to entrust the care of our million-dollar circus performers to local doctors.

One of the significant challenges facing organisations in Australia today is the loss of control over their staff’s well-being when they seek medical care. The decisions made during a two-minute doctor’s appointment can have a profound impact on the outcome. Often, as an organisation, you have limited influence, no matter how well-structured your suitable duties and return-to-work plans may be. It’s frustrating to witness situations where a brief consultation results in unnecessary time off work, which we know is not always the best approach.

James Fletcher from Health Stack

I vividly remember an encounter with a doctor in Russia who insisted that I was wrong when I requested an X-ray of a Wheel of Death artist’s wrist. He kept looking at the elbow, not the wrist! In such cases, we had to find new doctors and health professionals to help with issues beyond our expertise. Physiotherapists are skilled in managing pain and injuries but aren’t qualified to diagnose fractures; that’s a job for X-rays and radiologists.

In the traditional healthcare model, you often have no control over your staff’s rehabilitation and the ability to provide on-site support. Having an expert available online allows you to avoid unnecessary doctor appointments, scans, and time off work. It also enables you to maintain some control and, most importantly, achieve better outcomes for staff experiencing pain or injury.



In the past, we worked within medical centres and provided a range of allied health professionals, including physiotherapists, dieticians, podiatrists, and exercise physiologists. As a private practice operating on a fee-for-service model, our income depended on people showing up for appointments. This created a conflict: we wanted to provide excellent care, but financial considerations came into play. To meet key performance indicators (KPIs), we needed to see Workcover patients a certain number of times, regardless of their injury. It’s a system that can encourage unnecessary visits, scans, and surgeries in a fee-for-service model.


However, the corporate health model operates on a fee-for-outcome basis, where payment is contingent on achieving positive results for individuals or organisations. This approach encourages us to do whatever it takes to ensure a successful outcome, which may sometimes involve not physically seeing the person but closely monitoring their compliance with their prescribed online program. Technology is opening doors for creative and innovative solutions, with active rehabilitation becoming an increasingly important concept. The future of healthcare places greater responsibility on individuals to actively participate in their own recovery rather than expecting someone to fix them.

One of the most significant differences between these models is the payment structure: fee for service versus fee for outcome.

In the traditional healthcare model, it’s common for health professionals not to communicate with one another across professions. Even when we worked in medical centres, discussing different opinions and strategies to help an individual with their challenges was rare. Integrated care, where professionals collaborate, should be the gold standard, and there are provisions within the Medicare system to facilitate this. Even in private practice, discussing a patient’s treatment plan across professions should be encouraged. In the corporate model, where achieving positive outcomes is the goal, it’s standard practice to collaborate and share information among health professionals.


Because it’s not just the right thing to do, but it’s built into the model, and professionals are compensated for it.

These are the fundamental differences that organisations will experience when they take proactive steps to address their employees’ health. With recent advancements in technology and the lower barriers to entry for virtual care, even smaller organisations are beginning to explore these opportunities. If you have more than five staff members on your site, please feel free to reach out to us to discuss the available options.

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