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Hospital will reopen within weeks

A rehabilitation patient receives treatment in the hydrotherapy pool at the Lismore Private Hospital, which is expected to reopen within weeks with a new operator after receivers moved in this week following the collapse of Owen Ferguson Health.
A rehabilitation patient receives treatment in the hydrotherapy pool at the Lismore Private Hospital, which is expected to reopen within weeks with a new operator after receivers moved in this week following the collapse of Owen Ferguson Health. David Nielsen

LISMORE Private Hospital may be reopened under a new operator within weeks, the building’s owner, Australian Property Trustees, said yesterday.

APT chief executive Darren Olney-Fraser said ‘a number’ of operators had expressed an interest in taking over the hospital.

“We have been looking at this since November as we were aware this might happen,” he told The Northern Star yesterday.

Owen Ferguson Health, which owns a number of hospitals around the country, including Lismore Private, was placed in receivership on Thursday.

The hospital, which only opened about a year ago and specialises in rehabilitation services, filled a gap in that type of medical care on the North Coast.

Patients were still being moved out of the hospital yesterday, with St Vincent’s Hospital in Lismore confirming it admitted four patients on Thursday night and was expecting more throughout yesterday.

Mr Olney-Fraser said once some legal issues were resolved patients would be able to move back.

“The receiver decided to move patients out while they resolved the legal issues because they have no medical expertise,” he said.

“There is no question whether the hospital will stay open, just who will operate it. That should be resolved in a week or two.”

St Vincent’s chief executive Bob Walsh confirmed the hospital was interested in taking over Lismore Private Hospital, but said it was too early in the process to discuss details.

A North Coast Area Health spokesperson said the closure of the private hospital would not affect its services.

There is no question whether the hospital will stay open, just who will operate it. That should be resolved in a week or two.



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