Primary appeals trade restraint court ruling

Primary Health Care has launched its appeal against a landmark court decision handed down last year that challenged the ability of corporate contracts to dictate when and where doctors can practice.

The NSW Supreme Court last year rule that four NSW GPs were not bound by restraint of trade clauses in their contracts with Symbion Health, and could legally work for a rival practice less than 3 km away.

Primary, which now owns Symbion, is appealing the case on several grounds, including that the judge erred in finding Symbion was only providing management services to the GPs, and therefore had no share in their goodwill and no legitimate interest to protect. 

Meanwhile, Primary managing director Dr Edmund Bateman has been revealed as Australia’s largest individual political donor, contributing $250,000 to the Liberal Party’s coffers last year.

Dr Bateman also carried out a $1.5 million advertising campaign last year,