The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will oppose the proposed acquisition by Healthscope Limited of the Brunswick Private Hospital from Healthe Care Pty Ltd.
Brunswick Private Hospital is the largest private provider of rehabilitation services in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Healthscope is a large national provider of private hospital services.
Healthscope operates several private hospitals in the northern suburbs of Melbourne including Dorset Rehabilitation Centre, North Eastern Rehabilitation Centre, John Fawkner Private Hospital and Melbourne Private Hospital.
“The proposed acquisition would result in Healthscope acquiring its closest and most significant competitor for the supply of private rehabilitation services in northern Melbourne,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The removal of Brunswick Private as an independent competitor to Healthscope for rehabilitation patients would be likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition.”
“The ACCC is concerned that there are no other private rehabilitation hospitals in northern Melbourne and Healthscope would face only limited competition from the Epworth hospital in Richmond and St Vincent’s Private in East Melbourne, located in Melbourne’s inner east,” Mr Sims said.
The ACCC made extensive inquiries with a range of interested parties, including private hospitals and public hospitals, private health funds, medical practitioners and other industry bodies.
The ACCC received information from market participants that Brunswick Private Hospital is a growing and major competitor to Healthscope’s Dorset Rehabilitation Centre and North Eastern Rehabilitation Centre for the provision of rehabilitation services in northern Melbourne.
“The location of a rehabilitation hospital is important and most patients who live in the northern suburbs of Melbourne would have few or no alternatives to Healthscope following the proposed acquisition,” Mr Sims said.
“Preserving competition is likely to lead to innovation and higher quality rehabilitation services for patients in the future.”
The decision is available on the public register: