February 3 - 9, 2019: Issue 392


Residents to Protest Hospital Service Closures at Mona Vale Meeting

Hosted by Save Mona Vale Hospital Committee 
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM
The Auditorium, Pittwater RSL Club
82 Mona Vale Road, Mona Vale

Hospital campaigners have called a protest meeting for next week to put the state government on notice that the community is appalled by the severe downgrading of Mona Vale Hospital.

Save Mona Vale Hospital chairman Parry Thomas said the meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 5, from 7 to 9pm at Pittwater RSL Club.

Mr Thomas said speakers will bring residents up to date with the situation at Mona Vale and Northern Beaches Hospitals and let them know what they can do to help the campaign.

“We are inviting everyone in the local community to join us to put the government on notice that we will settle for nothing less than the restoration of Mona Vale Hospital to a fully-functioning acute services hospital,” Mr Thomas said.

“Brad Hazzard and Rob Stokes have been playing semantics over this issue for months now.

“They are telling us they have ‘upgraded’ Mona Vale Hospital by providing more scanning services in the Urgent Care Centre, so it can now be classified as an emergency department.

“The retention of those scanning services is welcome but they are not new.

“We have lost a full emergency department that was recently renovated - and serious problems that would have been dealt with there in the past are now being turned away.

“We have also lost surgery, ICU, the refurbished maternity department and their support services.

“To add insult to injury, after closing the best part of two public facilities, the closest acute hospital now is the privately-operated Northern Beaches Hospital, which has serious and well-documented problems and is too far away.”

Speakers will include:

  • The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and NSW Education Minister
  • Associate Professor Richard West AM, MB. BS. (Syd) FRCS FRACS VMO Surgeon Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Dennis Ravlich - NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, Manager of the Member Industrial Services Team
  • Chris Sadrinna – actor, and former star of Home and Away, whose daughter was turned away from Mona Vale Hospital with a serious infection.
Related - this week;


Friday 1 February 2019: Media Release - WALT SECORD MLC, 
NSW Labor today demanded the Berejiklian Government refer the takeover of Healthscope which runs the Northern Beaches Hospital to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

NSW Labor is worried about an overseas investment firm taking over a NSW private-public partnership hospital and allowing ultimate control to go overseas.

An overseas investment firm – Brookfield Asset Management – has indicated that it is finalising its due diligence and debt commitments with a view to submitting a fully-financed, binding offer by January 31 to take over Healthscope, the operator of the Northern Beaches Hospital.

Healthscope has more than 40 private hospitals in its portfolio including the Northern Beaches Hospital.

NSW Labor has joined the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, which has expressed concern about a private equity firm running a NSW hospital.

“The bottom line has to be patient safety and the Berejiklian Government has to ensure that patient safety is not compromised at the beleaguered hospital,” Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said.

“The community already has real concerns about the Berejiklian Government’s failed private-public partnership (PPP) experiment – and there is fear about an overseas equity fund taking over a hospital, where the interests of shareholders will trump patients.”

“This is another step in the Americanisation of the NSW health and hospital system.”

“This is another consequence of privatising public hospitals; you lose control on how they are run and how they will maximise profit - through restructuring and job losses.”

The Northern Beaches Hospital has been plagued by problems since the Berejiklian Liberal Government opened it in late-October 2018.

The hospital was set up by the Liberals and Nationals as a PPP and it is operated by a private company.

NSW taxpayers contributed more than $600 million towards the hospital as part of an overall $2 billion contract with the private operator, but there has been a disturbing lack of transparency about the contract.

From the arrival of its first patients, the Northern Beaches Hospital has lurched from crisis to crisis and has had a litany of problems, including:
  • A two-tier system – with preference given to private patients over public patients;
  • Lack of basic medical supplies such as slings, bandages and insulin;
  • Inadequate blood bank with insufficient supplies;
  • Cancellation of elective surgery;
  • Problems with maternity services;
  • Doctors and junior doctors complaining about inadequate supervision and in one instance, a young doctor in the emergency department was responsible for 60 patients;
  • Concerns about pay and working conditions for staff;
  • Lengthy waits and lengthy trips for patients seeking ambulance treatment in the area – and in some cases up to 50 minutes;
  • Staff have threatened industrial action due to concerns about patient care and safety;
  • Complex medical cases sent away to Royal North Shore Hospital;
  • Mass resignations of staff including the CEO, head of medical services, two anaesthetics and other medical staff; and
  • Concerns about the reduction of services at Mona Vale Hospital and the closure of Manly Hospital.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord

“The Northern Beaches Hospital has been plagued with problems from day one – and if the hospital goes to overseas interests, the situation is likely to worsen.

“We know that a private equity firm will be about maximising its profits for its overseas investors. This will occur by cutting the staff and cutting corners on patient care.”

“The Liberals and Nationals don’t support a strong public health and hospital system; they believe that your credit card determines health care not your Medicare card.

“It is part of the Liberals and Nationals ideological commitment to the private provision of health and hospital services.

“The repeated issues at Northern Beaches Hospital are inexcusable. They are due to the Liberals-Nationals support for the private provision of health care.”

Brookfield Business Partners to Acquire Healthscope

January 31, 2019
BROOKFIELD NEWS, Jan. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE - Press Release

Brookfield Business Partners L.P. (NYSE:BBU) (TSX:BBU.UN) ("Brookfield Business Partners") together with institutional partners (collectively “Brookfield”), is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement to acquire up to 100% of Healthscope Limited (ASX: HSO) (“Healthscope” or the “Company”) for approximately $4.1 billion (AUD$5.7 billion). Healthscope is the second largest private hospital operator in Australia and the largest pathology services provider in New Zealand. 

“Healthscope is a leading business offering best-in-class, essential services to the well-established and growing private healthcare sector in Australia and pathology services sector in New Zealand,” said Len Chersky, Managing Partner, Brookfield Business Partners. “As a long-term operator of and investor in service businesses globally, and one of the largest builders of hospitals in Australia, we are confident in the prospects for Healthscope to strengthen, grow, and continue to provide quality healthcare services to the community under our ownership.”

Business Overview

Healthscope operates 43 private hospitals across every state in Australia and owns 24 pathology laboratories across New Zealand. The Company provides doctors and patients with access to operating theaters, nursing staff, accommodations, and other clinical care and consumables.

Business highlights:

  • Market leader in critical service sector. Healthscope is a leader in private healthcare services, as the second largest private hospital operator in Australia.  
  • Essential social infrastructure. Private hospitals are essential assets that work in parallel with the public healthcare system to provide patients access to quality care. 
  • Favorable industry dynamics.Healthscope is well-positioned to benefit from favorable demographic trends and a growing population driving demand for hospital services.
  • Track record of long-term stable growth. Healthscope has delivered continued growth in revenue and EBITDA for many years.
  • Substantial embedded growth. The business has several recently completed and ongoing developments, redevelopments and expansions which will support near and longer-term cash flow growth.


The transaction will be funded with up to $1.0 billion of equity, $1.4 billion of long-term financing and $1.7 billion from the sale and long-term leaseback of 22 wholly-owned freehold hospital properties.

Brookfield Business Partners expects to fund approximately one third of the equity, with the balance being funded by institutional partners. Prior to or following closing, a portion of Brookfield Business Partners' commitment may be syndicated to other institutional investors.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch is acting as sole financial advisor to Brookfield. King & Wood Mallesons is acting as lead legal counsel to Brookfield. In addition, MinterEllisonRuddWatts is providing New Zealand legal advice.

Transaction Process

Closing of the transaction remains subject to necessary shareholder and court approvals, as well as customary closing conditions including, among others, regulatory approvals. Closing is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2019.

Brookfield Business Partners is a business services and industrials company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses that benefit from barriers to entry and/or low production costs. Brookfield Business Partners is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. Important information may be disseminated exclusively via the website; investors should consult the site to access this information.

Brookfield Business Partners is the flagship listed business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE: BAM)(TSX: BAM.A)(EURONEXT: BAMA), a leading global alternative asset manager with more than $330 billion of assets under management  For more information, please visit our website at https://bbu.brookfield.com/.