PEEL Health Campus chief executive Dr Neale Fong has told the Mandurah Mail that Health Solutions WA was relinquishing ownership of the hospital because “they had had enough”.
When pressed as to why the private company was pulling out, he deferred to the board, saying they were yet to fully explain the reasons behind the abrupt decision.
But Dr Fong said he “didn’t believe” the decision was a result of a recent report submitted to the State Government with allegations of fraud against the company.
Peel Health Campus management is the subject of an independent report to be made public in coming months, following allegations doctors received incentive payments of $200 to admit patients to the facility.
In recent media reports, Opposition Leader Mark McGowan called for the official report to be publicised urgently.
Health Minister Kim Hames today slammed Health Solutions chair Jon Fogarty, accusing him of meddling in Peel Health Campus’ affairs and causing “a whole series of managers” to resign.
Dr Hames said Mr Fogarty was guilty of “interference with the running of the hospital over and above the managers”.
Dr Fong declined to comment on Minister Hames’ criticism.
He said he agreed with Dr Hames that the takeover by Ramsay Health Care, who currently operate at Joondalup Health Campus, would be a positive move.
“They’re a very good organisation,” he said.
“They’ll have a lot more resources and a lot more experience operating in a local community”.
Dr Fong said he didn’t think the takeover would have a disruptive effect on patients and staff.
He said, “For staff [the takeover] will give a lot more opportunity to work in a large organisation”.
Mr Fogarty has released a statement supporting the decision.
“This outcome will continue to provide the community with the high level of services and patient care which have been the hallmark of Peel Health Campus for the past 15 years,” he said.
Ramsay Health Care is a global hospital operator with 115 hospitals worldwide. Managing Director Chris Rex said the addition of Peel Health Campus to Ramsay Australia’s hospital operations portfolio would be an exciting development for the company.
“Our substantial experience in providing services to public patients and local service delivery in WA holds us in good stead to successfully take over the operations of this hospital for the benefit of the local community,” Mr Rex said.