Lismore Private Hospital will stay

ONE of the owners of Lismore Private Hospital yesterday re-affirmed the recently opened centre was not in financial difficulty after it was revealed another of the company’s hospital in Sydney suddenly closed.

Director and owner of Owen Ferguson Health Kerry Ferguson yesterday denied elements of the story in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, but confirmed the 30-year-old hospital would close after a dispute with the owner of the building.

“Parts of the story are so wrong, but yes it is closing,” Ms Ferguson said. “A few of the staff will be moving up here, they are not being sacked.”

The Herald yesterday reported that the day before nurses at Canada Bay Private Hospital in Concord were due to return to work after Christmas, they received text messages informing them the hospital would close immediately.

The report went on to say this week staff discovered the entire contents of the hospital, including bedpans, were listed for sale on an online auction website.

Ms Ferguson said yesterday the orthopaedic hospital was still open but was in the ‘process of closing’.

It was the second time in as many months that Ms Ferguson has been forced to allay fears about the future of Lismore Private Hospital.

After local staff expressed concerns that superannuation payments had not been made, Ms Ferguson told The Northern Star last month that the hospital was in Lismore for the long haul.

“The (Concord) closure will have no impact on the rest of the company or in Lismore,” she said yesterday. “The ramifications (of the closure) are really awful and of course staff are going to be angry, but that’s life I guess.”

NSW Nurses Association General Secretary Brett Holmes said the union had a teleconference with Ms Ferguson and the Office of Fair Work yesterday morning.

“We are very concerned about how they’ve treated staff in Canada Bay and Lismore in regard to superannuation payments,” he said.

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