Hobart Private HospitalEdit profile
The Hobart Private Hospital was established in 1999 following the Government of Tasmania's decision to privatise the Queen Alexandria maternity wing attached to the Royal Hobart Hospital. Many were opposed to the privatisation of the wing, but it was a policy agenda of Tony Rundle's Liberal Party (in power 1996-1998) to privatise the bulk of Tasmania's public infrastructure. The Hobart Private Hospital provides private health care specialising in the areas of Accident, Emergency, Cardiac, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology, Urology, Plasitc and Reconstructive Surgery, Respiratory Medicine, and General Surgery. Australian Hospital Care Limited purchased the site following the sale of the Queen Alexandra wing in 1999, but soon found themselves compulsorily purchased by Mayne Nickless Limited (now Mayne Group Limited). Despite the Liberal Party's determination to make their policy of privatisation of public infrastructure work, the private sector in Hobart, which is a relatively small market, was already well served by Calvary Hospital, St Johns Calvary Hospital and St Helens Private Hospital, and Hobart Private was experiencing financial difficulties within months of opening. Despite frequent requests from the board of the Royal Hobart Hospital to the Tasmanian Government for them to reacquire the site in order that the RHH could make much need expansions, the owners of Hobart Private refused to sell unless all three of their Tasmanian Hospitals were bought in one package. By 2001 Healthscope had bought Hobart Private from Mayne Health, and through shrewd management made it profitable. The Royal continued to apply pressure on the government to buy the site, as they were becoming desperate to expand, but Healthscope, now turning a profit, rejected it. Also the increasing need to turn profit for shareholders led to a reduction of service provision, and the Liberal's grand vision of a private sector which would solve all of the government's healthcare problems was falling apart. In 2005 premier Paul Lennon again requested the return of the site in order to aid the desperate need for the Royal's redevelopment, but the request was again flatly refused by Healthscope. By June 2005, the Hobart Private was having problems with accreditiation and facilities management, and even had to be evacuated due to flooding. By August 2005 the Hobart Private Hospital had been flagged by Australia's national healthcare standards organisation as one of 26 hospitals nationally that was failing to meet required standards, however this report was claimed to be misrepresentative by Healthscope's chief medical officer, Michael Coglin. Dr. Coglin stated that the report's concerns were directed at issues of infrastructure which had already been addressed and that there was no criticism of the hospital's patient care contained within the report. In November 2008, Hobart Private Hospital bought Tasmania's first PET scanner.