After serving Canberra for more than 44 years, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce has been blindsided by the ACT Government, who yesterday announced it had begun an acquisition process to take control and ownership of the hospital. Source: Catholic Voice.
If the proposed legislation is passed at the end of the month, the hospital will cease to operate under the governance of the Little Company of Mary.
The ACT Government said the acquisition is being done so work can begin on a new $1 billion hospital for Canberra’s booming north, the Canberra Times reported.
Canberra Health Services will run the hospital from July 3.
Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse expressed his deep concern, saying he was “totally stunned and shocked” by the decision, “which came without warning or discussion”.
“We are utterly astounded,” Archbishop Prowse said. “There has been no formal contact with the Archdiocese, nor has any reason been given.
“The lack of transparency of the ACT Government raises several questions and concerns. It is a very sad day when governments can simply decide to mount a takeover of any enterprise they like without any justification.”
It is understood that after several months of dialogue, the Government ceased participating in good faith negotiations with Calvary Hospital and prepared this decision without warning or consultation.
Calvary national CEO Martin Bowles said the health care provider was “extremely disappointed in the ACT Government’s unexpected and unilateral decision to introduce legislation that effectively dissolves our partnership on public health delivery in the Territory”.
“For 44 years, Calvary has been a trusted local healthcare provider and we thank our staff, who deliver exceptional compassionate health care daily and without judgment. Calvary was absolutely committed to the remaining 76 years of our contract in the ACT.”
Catholic Health Australia’s chair John Watkins said the move was disruptive and worrying.
“Our immediate concern lies with the 1800 employees at the hospital who have not been consulted about the potential ramifications of this decision. But longer term this is a distributing precedent for any government to set.”
Calvary Public Hospital Bruce to be compulsorily acquired by ACT government from Little Company of Mary (By Lucy Bladen, Canberra Times)
ACT government takes over Calvary hospital (The Australian)