25 June 1999
Mr A Hinton
Foreign Investment and Review Board (FIRB)
The Treasury Building
Dear Mr Hinton,
International Healthcare Corporations
Your department has previously indicated its willingness to receive information about corporations entering the Australian health care "marketplace". I indicated to you that these companies no longer advertised their entry into Australia and that there was no means by which citizens could find out about this and inform you when they had reason for concern.
I am therefore sending you a floppy disk containing two files in rich text format. The smaller (66 pages) contains comments, summaries and relevant extracts from a large number of articles. The larger (400 pages) file is the scratch file containing the full text of all the material. This is all material received within the last few weeks. The pressures for dysfunctional US health care corporations which have misused the system to seek more favourable fields internationally is now very strong. You should be particularly wary.
Hopefully this material will help you.
You will note that Sun Healthcare is now in dire trouble. It has slashed staff and is struggling to survive. US federal and state authorities are very worried about the consequences for care, particularly should the company collapse. Federal authorities have written to state regulators urging vigilance and US senators are legislating to protect patients. You will recall that Sun had a very poor track record for care before it entered Australia and since that time there have been widespread allegations that the company deliberately compromised care in order to fuel the profits on which its meteoric expansion was based.