Bateman cuts jellybean funding and sues GPs for contract breach

PRIMARY Health Care managing director Dr Edmund Bateman has admitted personally stopping funding to pay for jelly­beans given out at one of his medical centres as he seeks $1.5 million from two doctors for allegedly breaching their contracts after Primary took over the former Symbion clinic.

Dr Bateman also defended removing a water cooler from the Primary-owned Belmont practice, near Geelong in Victoria, while giving evidence before the Victorian Supreme Court last week.

Primary subsidiary Sidameneo is seeking damages from Dr Robert Simon Ward and Dr James William Rupert Magarey alleging they breached their contracts by signing with nearby rival Eastbrooke Clinic while under contract with Primary.

Primary claims their early departure led to massive financial losses at Belmont, forcing its closure.

The doctors claim Primary breached the GPs’ five-year contracts by overseeing a deterioration of services, failing to replace staff,