Calvary Mater Newcastle operator shows 'interest' in new Maitland Hospital decision

The operator of Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital has failed to rule out a tilt at building and running the new Maitland Hospital.

The state government announced on Wednesday it had scrapped plans for a public-private partnership for the new health facility at Metford and would instead look for a partner from the not-for-profit sector. Expressions of interest opened on Wednesday ahead of a tender process.

It’s not clear whether Calvary, a Catholic not-for-profit healthcare organisation that runs 15 hospitals, has lodged an expression of interest.

But when asked whether Calvary planned to do so, a spokesperson told Fairfax Media the organisation “welcomes the announcement that the state government is seeking a not-for-profit organisation to build and run the new Maitland Hospital, and awaits further information with interest”.

When asked what further information Calvary was waiting for, the spokesperson said all questions should be directed to NSW Health.

NSW Health Infrastructure said on Thursday it had received “a number” of expressions of interest but could not comment further because of “commercial sensitivities”.

Meanwhile, the doctors’ union – Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation – criticised the new plan for the hospital.

ASMOF NSW president Dr Tony Sara said entitlements, job security, and junior doctor supervision and training had not been guaranteed.

“Hospitals like St Vincent’s [Sydney] are subject to agreements that employees receive the same rates and conditions as staff of the NSW Health Service,” he said.

“The doctors, nurses and other health professionals at Maitland will have no such guarantee.”

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