Gladstone Mater Hospital.
Gladstone Mater Hospital. Matt Taylor GLA031018HOSP

Mercy Health in discussions to sell private hospital

MERCY Health and Aged Care is entering discussions about the potential sale of Gladstone's private hospital to another provider or Queensland Health.

A letter from chief executive officer Lynne Sheehan said the decision had not been taken lightly and was made after careful consideration and analysis of community need for the service.

In the letter, sent to employees, stakeholders and Gladstone's medical community, she said the company wanted to be transparent and open about the discussions taking place.

It follows the reduction in opening hours to five days a week in February and the closure of its maternity service in October last year.

"Change is always difficult and I know it can create uncertainty and anxiety," Ms Sheehan wrote.

"I am acutely aware of how challenging this period of change and transition may have been for you and I am very grateful for the patience and understanding you have shown, as along with a range of stakeholders, we have worked diligently and with great care to discern the best way that the Gladstone Mater can be of service to the Gladstone community today and into the future."

She said Mercy Health is giving "active consideration" to the possible sale of Gladstone Mater to either a private hospital provider or to Queensland Health.

"The decision has not been taken lightly but rather has only been taken after careful consideration and analysis of the community demand for the services currently offered at Gladstone Mater," Ms Sheehan wrote.

"As a result, it has become increasingly apparent that MH&ACCQL needs to realign the services we offer through Central Queensland Healthcare Ministry hence our decision to give serious consideration to selling the hospital."

Ms Sheehan said the staff's welfare and best interests would be at the forefront of any discussions around the potential sale of the Mater.

She said she regretted being unable to provide additional information at this time.

While discussions are taking place she said the current hospital services would remain as normal.

"I am sorry for any uncertainty, anxiety or concern that my correspondence to you today may cause but I could not progress discussions about any prospective sale, in clear conscience, without letting you know of the discussions that will be taking place with respect to the future of Gladstone Mater," she wrote.

Two staff forums will be held tomorrow about the discussions.



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