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May 2008

IPN expands

Corporate GP buyouts seem to be all the rage right now. Hot on the heels of the Primary/Symbion merger, Independent Practitioner Network (IPN) has acquired Fremantle-based GP group Gemini in a $32m deal. The acquisition is a very savvy move by IPN. Gemini has 42 medical centres nationally and 90 doctors compared to IPN's 95 centres and 700 doctors. IPN has 22 GP practices in suburban Perth, whereas Gemini has 24 practices in primarily rural areas, which will avoid the practice mergers Primary and Symbion will struggle with. The expanded IPN won't match the national might of the combined Primary/Symbion entity, but they are now the dominant corporate player in general practice in WA. Gemini's Suzy Taylor will fill IPN's vacant state manager position.

RPH not burning bridges

The ‘will they, won't they' fate of Royal Perth Hospital has taken a new turn with Minister McGinty announcing his intention to retain a 190 bed surgical facility in RPH's north block after the new Fiona Stanley Hospital opens in 2013. Bucking the trend of the a slow, systematic shutdown of RPH facilities, the government has built a new purpose-built burns unit. Potentially, the new $2.5m, 10-bed facility only has a five year lifespan, but it is still welcome news for burns specialists such as Prof Fiona Wood. According to Fiona, the centre will accommodate 250 patients each year and support an outpatient service that cares for 3,500 patients annually.

Boffins wiped out

You've probably heard about the confidential patient files left on computers ...

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