Bega private hospital sold to Chinese-owned health operator

Bega Valley Private Hospital has new owners under a Healthe Care deal to acquire Pulse Health announced Wednesday, May 17
Bega Valley Private Hospital has new owners under a Healthe Care deal to acquire Pulse Health announced Wednesday, May 17

Bega Valley Private Hospital has new corporate owners after a deal worth $155million was announced early Wednesday.

Healthe Care Australia, the country’s third largest corporate private hospital operator, confirmed the acquisition of Pulse Health’s 13 hospital portfolio. This includes the private medical and day surgery facility in Bega.

The Pulse acquisition follows Healthe Care’s April purchase of three South Coast/Illawarra hospital assets from Evolution Healthcare.

With the Pulse deal, Healthe Care now comprises 34 private hospitals (33 in Australia and one in New Zealand), revenue in excess of $700million, around 7000 staff and nearly 2500 hospital beds.

Healthe Care chief executive officer Steve Atkins said the announcement “further underpins Healthe Care’s ongoing growth ambition, while cementing its position as a leading pan-Asian health care services group”.

Mr Atkins said under Healthe Care’s ownership, the company is focused on ensuring each of these newly acquired hospitals continue to deliver high quality care outcomes for patients.

“The opportunity to enhance our existing strong relationship with health insurers and health care regulators continues to improve as we grow,” he said.

“We encourage all of our hospitals to be innovative and seek out every opportunity to ensure community members with private health insurance are provided the best possible care.

“Healthe Care looks forward to partnering with doctors working across the Pulse network, to providing strong support to local management teams and staff, as well as the development of robust strategic plans that will underpin these important community services into the future.”

Pulse CEO Phillipa Blakey previously said the buyout is unlikely to affect the running of its hospitals like Bega Valley.

“It is expected to be business as usual for the hospitals,” she told Fairfax Media in March.

“It’s too early to say whether or not additional services might be offered [at Bega Valley Private Hospital].  That would be a matter for Healthe Care once it has been able to review the business.”

Healthe Care said one of its acquisition highlights was that the Pulse hospital assets have been undercapitalised and require investment to meet future demand.

“Healthe Care has a track record of acquiring and investing in private hospital services in communities with high levels of ongoing demand,” it said in a release to media.

Healthe Care has been owned by China’s Luye Medical Group since December 2015.

Pulse Health’s hospitals acquisition:

  • Bega Valley Private Hospital (Bega, NSW) – medical/ surgical day surgery
  • Forster Private Hospital (Forster, NSW) – 69 bed medical, surgical and rehabilitation hospital
  • Healthwoods Specialist Centre (Granville, NSW) – endoscopy/ gastroscopy day surgery
  • The Hills Clinic (Kellyville, NSW) – 59 bed mental health hospital
  • Westmead Rehabilitation Hospital (Sydney, NSW) – 65 bed rehabilitation hospital
  • Eden Rehabilitation Hospital (Cooroy/ Noosa, QLD) – 48 bed rehabilitation hospital
  • Gold Coast Surgical Hospital (Varsity Lakes, QLD) – 24 bed medical/ surgical hospital
  • Gympie Private Hospital (Gympie, QLD) – 40 bed medical/ surgical hospital
  • Hobson Healthcare (Altona, Sydenham, Werribee, VIC) – endoscopy day surgeries
  • Mackay Rehabilitation Hospital (Mackay, QLD) – 34 bed rehabilitation hospital
  • Boulcott Private Hospital (Wellington, NZ) – 29 bed medical/ surgical hospital

Evolution Healthcare’s three Illawarra hospitals acquired in April 2017:

  • Shellharbour Private Hospital - 60 bed medical, surgical, paediatric and rehabilitation hospital
  • South Coast Private - 90 bed mental health hospital
  • Wollongong Day Surgery – day surgery