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Pulse drops private health facility

DESPERATE DASH: Mayor Wayne Kratzmann and Councillor Damien Tessmann will fly to Sydney next week to lobby Pulse Health to keep the South Burnett Private Hospital open.
DESPERATE DASH: Mayor Wayne Kratzmann and Councillor Damien Tessmann will fly to Sydney next week to lobby Pulse Health to keep the South Burnett Private Hospital open. Tessa Mapstone

THE South Burnett looks set to lose its only private hospital after Pulse Health told Mayor Wayne Kratzmann the doors would close on June 30.

Cr Kratzmann said the operators told the South Burnett Regional Council on Tuesday the hospital was no longer financially viable.

"Pulse have told me that they need daily bed numbers around 12 per day, but recently the numbers have only been half that," he said.

Cr Kratzmann said the council worked with Pulse Health, arranging meetings with the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board and local doctors, in an attempt to increase the number of patients using the private hospital.

"We will do whatever we can to persuade the Pulse board to change their decision," he said.

"Apart from the loss of 20 jobs, the other services lost, including specialists' visits, would be horrendous for the South Burnett community, particularly the elderly.

"If we were to have the hospital close, then simply the general hospital in Kingaroy could not cope."

Cr Kratzmann and Councillor Damien Tessmann will try to meet with the Pulse Health board to stress how important the hospital is to the region.

Cr Tessmann said the decision was disappointing but it was a business and had to make money.

"It's unique for local government in Queensland to be involved in owning a local hospital," he said.

 "There are just not enough patients coming back to a community-owned facility."

Cr Kratzmann urged the public to lobby the hospital and local doctors to keep the hospital running.

South Burnett Private Hospital general manager Michelle Garratt said she was unable to comment.

Pulse Health yesterday announced it would acquire The Hills Clinic, a mental health facility in Sydney, bringing the number of hospitals in the Pulse Health portfolio to nine.

Topics:  close health hospital kingaroy private hospital shut down south burnett

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