Since 1810 Macquarie St has dominated as the location of choice for medical specialists in Sydney. Now that’s beginning to change, with George St becoming the location of choice for many health practitioners. Why?
The history of Macquarie St
In 1810, governor Macquarie allocated a plot of land on the newly created Macquarie street for Sydney Hospital. This was the beginning of Macquarie street becoming a hub for those seeking medical attention in Sydney.
At the time, this was the only hospital in the colony. It’s frontage dominated much of Macquarie St. Much of the building remained unoccupied for a time. The hospital was larger than needed for Sydney at that point in history. Wanting to take advantage of the empty floor space, the government and other municipal offices moved into the outer wings of the hospital.
To be near the hospital, Macquarie Street soon became the home to many doctors and other healthcare professionals. It made sense to be close to the hospital and other official buildings for the convenience of their practice.
Understandably, The Royal Australian College of Physicians opened nearby, and the street got the nickname ‘The Harley Street of Sydney’ because of the number of medical practitioners with offices and surgeries on the street.
Macquarie Street established itself as the medical hub of Sydney early on, and it's a title it’s claimed for some time now. But will it hold onto it forever?
It would seem not…
The George Street takeover
George street’s history is long lasting in Sydney. Like Macquarie St, George St was one of the earliest established streets in Sydney city. It’s been the home of many businesses and the main thoroughfare right up to the present day.
In recent years, George Street has seen a surge in medical practitioners setting up their practices on its frontage.
We think there are a few reasons for the shift away from Macquarie st.
Changes in Transport
George Street is one of the most accessible streets in Sydney CBD. Buses, trams, trains and pedestrian walkways mean that when in Sydney, it can feel like all roads lead to George St.
With the government developing a light rail system, George St has become even more accessible to pedestrians and those travelling by public transport from outside the CBD.
When considering where to choose a location, medical practitioners take into consideration the ease of access to their practice. Clients value convenience. George St is home to many other popular shopping destinations. More foot traffic, exposure and therefore, business!
In contrast, when Macquarie St first began establishing itself as a medical hub, it was harder for people to get around. It made sense for all medical services to be located in one area, to assist with patient travel. That’s no longer the case, thank goodness!
Changes in hospital networks
When Sydney was first being established, it made sense for doctors to locate themselves close by to the hospital. They needed to be where the action was, to be a part of the ‘medical scene’ of early Sydney.
Fast forward to 2020, and there is 220 public hospitals and health services for free healthcare in NSW (according to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Hospitals/Pages/default.aspx). Doctors and patients no longer need to be gathered on one street. There’s a broader range of choices available, and patients have greater control over the healthcare choices on offer.
This means that patients are willing to visit practices that aren’t located on Macquarie St. Particularly if it’s more convenient for them to do so!
Macquarie St is saturated with healthcare services, surgeries, and clinics. Being right next door to an established business, offering the same benefits as you, can make it hard to stand out.
Competition is fierce, which is why many medical professionals are choosing to lease rooms on George St. With less direct competition in the physical space, businesses can establish their practices more efficiently.
George St is the home to many entrepreneurial professionals.
It seems healthcare practitioners prefer this encouraging environment as opposed to the traditional and fierce competition elsewhere in Sydney CBD.
Are you looking to lease a medical room in Sydney?
Wellshare is a co-working space in the historic Dymock’s building on George St. With a range of rooms to rent, we’re sure we’ve got the room you need.
Our rooms are modern and spacious. Amenities include WIFI, access to break-out rooms, 24/7 access, photocopier, printer and kitchen facilities. We also provide access to networking events and allow you to display advertising material.
Sounds good? Join the other medical professionals making a move to George St. Have the room to grow your practice.
Book a tour today.
Entrepreneur, retired doctor. Passionate about helping health and beauty professionals build their own brand.