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Hospital ownership shake-up mooted

A MAJOR shake up is looming in Western Australia’s private hospital sector with Mayne Health looking to quit some of its Perth hospitals.

Mayne, which owns the Mount, Glengarry and Attadale hospitals, along with the private part of Joondalup Hospital in Perth, announced that it was in negotiations to sell some of its hospitals.

The existence of a consortium put together by the Macquarie Bank to facilitate the sale of the Mayne properties adds credence to speculation that the sales are forthcoming.

Mayne spokesman Rob Tassie said while the company was in negotiations it was under no obligation to sell any of its hospital assets.

Mayne reported a $456 million after-tax loss last financial year and seems to be leaning towards opportunities in the pharmaceutical market.

Ramsay Health Care, operator of Hollywood Hospital, is one company that could take up at least some of Mayne’s Perth business if sales go ahead.

Ramsay is predominantly a private hospital operator and reported a 19 per cent net profit rise to $37.1 million on the back of revenue growth of 20 per cent to $662.2 million.

A spokeswoman for Ramsay said the company was interested in selected expansion opportunities in the aged care and private hospital sectors.

She said all discussions were at an early stage and might or might not lead to a transaction occurring.

The only other major private hospital group in WA that could consider purchasing all or some of Mayne’s assets is St John of God Healthcare.

It operates hospitals in Subiaco and Murdoch. Its Subiaco property is the largest private hospital in Perth.

St John of God Healthcare Subiaco CEO Neale Fong said the organisation had been approached by Macquarie and asked if it was interested in making a purchase.

“We would certainly consider it,” Dr Fong said. “However, there are trade practice issues in terms of competition if we were to consider any further acquisitions, particularly in Perth.”

Both of the St John of God campuses are undergoing significant redevelopments.

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