NEALE Fong has returned to health management in a major way, making it clear that his appointment to run the Peel Health Campus was not a stop-gap fix after recent turmoil.
The campus is the main operation of Health Solutions (WA), a joint venture between former stockbroker Jon Fogarty, who owns 51 per cent, and Singaporean investors who have other health-related interests.
Dr Fong, the former director-general of the WA Health Department and ex-CEO of St John of God Subiaco, has been appointed managing director of the parent company after recently joining the board as part of a consulting role on a proposed $75 million building expansion.
The business is also looking at additional investment in Western Australia, most likely in medical centres and day surgeries.
Dr Fong conceded that the business had undergone a degree of management churn in the past couple of years, after a long period of stability.
“Hospitals are complex organisations,” Dr Fong said.
“To find the right people is difficult.”
Peel Health Campus is the state’s 14th biggest hospital, according to the WA Business News Book of Lists, with more than 650 staff operating 129 overnight beds and 56 day beds. Of these, 33 beds are private.
The planned new development would allow the existing private beds to be converted to public, with a new site on the campus providing 86 private beds – helping to meet demand in the region, one of the fastest growing areas of Australia over the past decade or so.
The new development proposal has been put to the state government, although the backers of Health Solutions will fund it privately. As part of the proposal, Health Solutions wants its contract to run Peel extended.
Dr Fong said his other recent interests, including mining company Chrysalis Resources, were mainly non-executive roles and he was committed to running Health Solutions and overseeing the proposed building program and other expansion opportunities.