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Content of this page:-
Moran Health Care is currently a private for profit operator of nursing homes. It has also invested enthusiastically in hospitals and was a strong advocate for private care with political connections. Doug Moran is best known for his failed Taj Mahal style medical parks targeting wealthy foreigners, but he had many other business interests in Australia and internationally.

Australian section     

Moran Health Care
(1960s to 1999)





There are three Moran Health Care pages. Moran made his money out of nursing homes and there is a page devoted to his nursing home empire. Doug Moran and his family were involved in a bitter and public family dispute and this had implications for the company. Another page has therefore been devoted to examining Doug Moran, the man and also the nature and consequences of the family dispute. This web page examines Doug Moran's venture into hospitals and his focus on luxury hospitals and an international trade in sick but wealthy Asians.

Click Here to examine the nursing home empire

Click Here to examine Doug Moran, the man and his family

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Interest in Hospitals

Moran Health Care is self made entrepreneur Doug Moran’s private family company. He bought into his first nursing home in the 1960s. While the company is seen as primarily a nursing home company it did enter the hospital marketplace enthusiastically for many years. Moran played a prominent part in driving the privatisation process and in policy making. He was particularly active in the mid 1980s when it was anticipated that the serious problems in the NSW public system would drive patients into private hospitals. He bought hospitals and also planned to build luxury health care complexes targeting wealthy foreigners.

1986 Moran Hospital structure

A category two bed hospital was recently sold in Melbourne for $137,000 a bed compared with a previous top of $50,000 to $60,000. Mr Doug Moran of the Moran Health Care Group said that it was impossible to compare previous prices of category one beds as there just had not been any on the market "like the 1930 proof penny" which he had once bought for $100,000.

The Moran group manages North Gosford and owns 31 per cent of the capital. The rest is spread among 100 or so shareholders, mostly doctors who have held shares since the float. The $1 shares were issued five years ago at par but a one-for-one bonus issue has been made in the meantime.

Mr Moran emphasised his belief that enthusiastic bidding for North Gosford reflected the deteriorating state of health care in the public hospital system.
Hospital Board Considers Offers Australian Financial Review January 6, 1986

Moran Health Care had been managing Rodney Adler’s FAI hospitals and in 1988 it bought all the insurer’s hospitals. It also managed hospitals for others. It made money by building hospitals and then selling them to groups who often employed Moran to manage them.

1988 Expansion buying FAI

Mr Doug Moran's unlisted company, Moran Health Care Group, has also been expanding aggressively in the past year, purchasing FAI Insurances Ltd's collection of private hospitals and nursing homes for $35 million and spending another $65 million on developments.
MALAISE HITS PRIVATE HOSPITAL BOOM Australian Financial Review December 12, 1988

1990 Wide business interests

NURSING homes, hospitals, hotels. Sydney. 65. Married, seven children. Douglas Moran's business empire, built on private health care, has expanded into travel, health-care conventions, aviation charter, property and legal work. But Moran Health Care Group, which has 22 nursing homes, 10 private hospitals and five retirement villages, remains the core business.
DOUGLAS MORAN Business Review Weekly April 6, 1990

1990 Building and selling hospitals

It is also a leading hospital designer and has developed and sold 20 private hospitals.
Moran Healthcare group plans $1b medical park. Business Times Singapore June 11, 1990


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Moran's Luxury Medical Parks

Moran's faith in the unfettered market and his opposition to anything remotely socialist led to his promoting one of the more impractical marketplace ideas - Taj Mahal hospitals. The policies of the NSW labour government were contrasted with the market focussed coalition government in Queensland.

Moran planned these medical parks for the Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. Only the Gold Coast experiment got off the ground. The luxury Medical Park was supplemented by a luxury Spa Resort at Murwillumbah just south of the NSW border where the patients would go to recuperate. Even before it opened the venture ended in tears for everyone except Moran. The other Taj Mahals were never built.

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1987 Moran's views

Another private medical giant, the Moran Health Group, has already started construction of a $100 million, 300-bed "hospital of excellence" near Coolangatta in Queensland.

The chairman of the group, Mr Doug Moran, says the NSW hospital system is"on its knees".

He is confident his new Queensland hospital will lure large numbers of privately insured patients from the swollen waiting lists south of the Tweed.
The Moran group blames the ills of the NSW hospital system largely on the State Government which, it says, refuses to approve new private hospitals.

"I can't expand in NSW," Mr Moran said yesterday. "I took (the proposal to build a hospital of excellence) to Laurie Brereton and Neville Wran and they refused it."

He then went to Queensland where, he said, consent was granted by Cabinet within 24 hours.

Mr Moran also cited the $1,800 licensing fee applicable to an 80-bed hospital in NSW - compared with $38 in Queensland - as an example of the encouragement given to hospital entrepreneurs in Queensland.
TYCOONS FIND GOLD IN HOSPITAL QUEUES Sydney Morning Herald February 17, 1987

1989 Gold Coast Medical Centre then Sydney and Melbourne to follow

Mr Doug Moran, head of the Moran Health Care Group, is probably the best example of an investor who has turned hospital developments into property developments. His $300 million 300-bed "centre of medical excellence" in Tugun, Queensland, which will accept patients mid-way through next year, has a five-star hotel and shopping complex on-site. However, Moran has yet to prove that the centre will be able to attract sufficient patients and customers to make a profit.
With substantial backing from Australian Guarantee Corporation Ltd and a Japanese developer, C. Itoh, Doug Moran was able to build hisTugun "centre of medical excellence".

His company has plans for similar projects in Sydney and Melbourne. However, critics argue that the last thing the private hospital industry needs is extra hospital beds and expensive health services.

They argue that Mr Moran is unlikely to attract either local patients who could afford to stay in the centres of excellence, or the Asian patients Moran is hoping will fill 50 per cent of the beds. But his tactic in the past has been to develop the projects and on-sell them, usually at a healthy profit.
A HEALTH INDUSTRY IN THE THROES Australian Financial Review November 8, 1989

1993 The dream collapses

PICTURE this. You've travelled from Japan for your coronary bypass. Your wife has come too, booked into a $200-a-night room in the five-star hotel alongside the Hospital of Excellence at Tugun, on Australia's Gold Coast.

Its a $16,000 package but what the heck, you might even splash out and recuperate at the nearby Spa Resort at Murwillumbah. It makes a change from the Mayo Clinic where you had your gall bladder operation a couple of years ago. And here's the clincher, you get to take home a videotape of your operation. Another satisfied customer of Doug Moran, chairman of the Moran Health Care Group.

That was the dream - Doug's dream - but the reality fell a bit short of the vision.
He planned to go further, developing medical Taj Mahals - townships of villas, hotels, spas and hospitals - in three States. At least 40 per cent of the customers at the new medical resorts, Doug believed, would be Asian.
The end result was a confidential settlement which is understood to involve Westpac injecting $159 million into the Moran properties on which AGC had mortgages.

The failed venture on the Gold Coast has put an end to the expansionist plans of Moran and family - for the time being.
DOUG MOVES ON Australian Financial Review March 5, 1993

1994 Review of investors

The complex was to include 300 hospital beds, a 110-suite, eight-level hotel and shopping facilities for patients' relatives, 1000 homes for staff, plus a golf course. Westpac's AGC and C. Itoh liked the idea and took an 80% combined share, signing up Moran as the operator and 20% owner.
Business Review Weekly June 20, 1994

1994 every one loses except Moran

When C. Itoh was due to finance the$20-million fit-out of the hospital and associated hotel building in 1989, it suddenly withdrew and had to be bought out by Westpac. This and the 1990 recession turned the project, including an approved 1000-unit residential tract, into a white elephant. Westpac fitted the complex out as a local hospital and this year leased it, and more recently sold it to Mayne Nickless

It says a lot for the skills of the Morans, especially Shane, that they were able to leave the project with a generous out-of-court settlement from AGC. The terms have never been disclosed, but industry gossip is that the Morans got from Westpac a five-year interest-free line of credit for well over $100 million. "It was our earlier attention to detail in setting up the management agreement that saved us," Shane says.
DOUG MORAN'S FAMILY ELIXIR Business Review Weekly October 10, 1994


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1989 A Medical park for Sydney

The most ambitious project so far is Moran Operations Pty Ltd's plan for a 300-bed super hospital in the city's (Sydney) north-west, complete with a luxury hotel and shopping complex.
NSW TO ENCOURAGE ITS PRIVATE HOSPITALS Australian Financial Review July 12, 1989

1991 Even the new Coalition government in NSW is cautious

The Moran Group has also lodged plans to replicate its Gold Coast plans on the outskirts of Sydney. But the Greiner Government is going slow on approaching the development, which includes an eight-to-10 storey "super clinic" and 110 medical suites, as well as a 120-room hotel, retail facilities and 500 residential villas and condominiums.
$100 MILLION & MORE Business Review Weekly May 17, 1991

1990 One for Singapore too

Sydney-based Moran Healthcare Group is preparing to submit detailed plans for a multimillion-dollar world-class medical complex to authorities in Singapore.

Mr Doug Moran, founder and chairman of the group, told BT in Sydney a consortium of investors would participate in the project which is estimated to cost around US$500 million.

The medical park will be modelled on the Moran Clinic now being built on the Gold Coast. - - - - - - - which in turn is based on well-known American private hospitals such as the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic.
Moran Healthcare group plans $1b medical park. Business Times Singapore June 11, 1990


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Buying More Hospitals

The collapse of Moran’s grand plans for Taj Mahals did not put an end to plans to expand into private hospitals. Moran Health Care had emerged intact from the fiasco in Queensland. It continued to buy hospitals and to upgrade those it already possessed. It sold those which were not profitable. It expanded internationally. To compete hospitals needed to be larger and better equipped.

1994 Hospital policy and growth

The settlement (in Queensland) became the basis for the Morans' successful expansion drive and upgradings in the 1990s, including a $15-million urology teaching hospital at Petersham in Sydney, endowment of a urology chair and foundation at the University of Sydney, costing about $1 million a year, and a newly completed$20- million private hospital at Dubbo, NSW, to be complemented with a$12-million retirement village and medical centre in the next year or so.
The hospitals range from new constructions such as Dubbo to hospitals bought out of receivership and refurbished. The Currumbin, Queensland, hospital, which has a unit for alcohol and drug detoxification and eating disorders, has been in receivership twice. It was reopened by Moran three years ago, and now claims a 90% success rate for its treatments.

Another, at Petersham, NSW, was bought from receivers, gutted and turned into a 41-bed rehabilitation and hydrotherapy centre. Moran sees many opportunities for boutique single-specialty hospitals and homes, such as his 40-bed Metropolitan Eye Hospital at Ashfield, in Sydney, which has 30 ophthalmologists signed on. One home, Armon near Petersham, caters for psycho-geriatric cases. At the Bigge Street sleep-disorder centre at Liverpool in Sydney's west, leading specialist Dr Shu Chan has invested $500,000 in equipment that can computer-analyse patients as they sleep in remote hospitals. "We do a service properly, whatever it costs us," Moran says. He encourages practising doctors to make their own investments in his facilities. "If you buy all the equipment for them, they may say 'thank you' and walk away."
DOUG MORAN'S FAMILY ELIXIR Business Review Weekly October 10, 1994

1996 Rationalisation

The Moran Healthcare Group has completed another stage of its $20 million property disposal program, following the $637,000 auction of its former Metropolitan Eye Hospital at Ashfield and settlement of Mr James Packer's $1.2 million purchase of Bondi's Bellevue Private Hospital.
Moran's rationalisation will see the amalgamation of 300 beds within the group and the opening of new hospitals in Rouse Hill and Liverpool and a new nursing home at Rose Bay.
Moran Group Forges Ahead With Big Property Sell-off Sydney Morning Herald March 26, 1996

1997 Growth and international expansion

The company philosophy puts a premium on growth. In the past year it has acquired the Westland Healthcare group in WA, secured the historic Liner House building in Bridge Street, Sydney, as its headquarters and expanded into Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. It has completed the Rose Bay Gardens nursing centre in Sydney's eastern suburbs and has begun redeveloping its private hospital at Liverpool, south-west of Sydney.
$200 Million And More (Part 2) : Doug Moran Business Review Weekly May 26, 1997

1997 Upgrading

In November 1997 the Moran Healthcare Group, one of Australia's major private hospital operators, will begin the upgrading of its hospital at Liverpool, near Sydney.
Moran Health expands with $20 million investment. Business Sydney November 10, 1997


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 Getting out of Hospitals

Moran’s interest in hospitals continued into 1997 but by 1998 had been reversed. Moran sold a controlling interest in six hospitals to Sun Healthcare. It seems to have sold off its other hospitals individually. By mid 1999 the company claimed to have sold all its hospitals.

1998 Selling to US company Sun Healthcare

Sun acquired a 38 percent interest in Alpha and a majority interest in six Moran hospitals in 1997.
Sun Healthcare Group, Inc. Acquires German Ancillary Service Provider; Sun Also Forms Australian Pharmacy and Medical Supply Divisions PR Newswire May 5, 1998

1999 Has sold hospitals but expanded internationally

Shane Moran, chief executive of Moran Health Care, says the company sold its hospitals to concentrate on aged care. He says margins in the hospital industry are being squeezed by the health funds and doctors. The company has grown sharply: it has 77 facilities in Australia with turnover of $350 million, it has made a $200-million investment in Ireland and it has $100 million invested in Asia, mainly Singapore and China. He says Moran has 11 expressions of interest in Victoria and is looking for further acquisitions in Western Australia and Queensland.
Moran has aggressively looked overseas. The company acquired the British Sandown Group, which was then used as a platform for expansion into Ireland. Shane Moran says the company wants to develop 30 facilities in Ireland, mainly for priests and nuns. "The church appealed to us to come up with a solution."
Health Care, Or Wealth Care? Business Review Weekly June 11, 1999


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Doug Moran, the Man and his Influence

Moran's enthusiasm for for-profit care led him to denigrate those who were not able or prepared to pay as bludgers. He was highly critical of the charges NSW made for private bed licenses. He played an important part in formulating the new coalition government's market policy for nursing homes after the 1996 victory. There was an angry community backlash against this and the government was forced to back away from its more extreme plans. Moran's naive and revealing comments clearly reflected his thinking and probably gave critics ammunition. They provide an insight into the sort of person he was and his suitability to care for the elderly.

1997 Elderly "bludgers" and government policies.

NURSING home tycoon Doug Moran yesterday labelled elderly people who complain about nursing home fees as bludgers, silvertails and hoarders.

The multi-millionaire compared pensioners who object to asset-testing to disgraced businessmen Christopher Skase and Alan Bond.
He admitted playing a part designing the Federal Government's controversial "user pays" nursing home reforms.

Yesterday he announced he would spend $100,000 of his own money promoting the policy.

He said his advertisements under the slogan "Facing Reality" would describe those objecting to the new nursing home entry bond as "silvertails, next of kin [and] the hoarders of assets". "There are a lot of bludgers in our society and I think that's got to stop because it imposes further costs on to the taxpayers of this nation," he said.
"I can't understand why he is advertising a government program except that it will make him more money," she (NSW Combined Pensioners and Superannuants president Nora McGuire) said.
"Mr Moran is the person who advised the Government to do this. It's turning into a disaster and now he's calling people names."
Mr Moran, who has boasted of his leading role in helping design the nursing home policy, is a donor to Liberal Party MPs.
His intervention came as Prime Minister John Howard conceded he may have to "fine tune" the policy after a heated party room meeting in which 17 MPs demanded changes.

They warned Mr Howard the policy was costing the Government votes and demanded changes including a cap on the rate of entry bond nursing homes could charge residents.
Millionaire nursing home boss calls elderly `bludgers' for complaining about fees Daily Telegraph October 22, 1997


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Moran's Private Life

While Moran's business success and public statements were widely reported. His private life was not. This all changed in the 2000s when a vicious family dispute involving a son who committed suicide, a daughter in law and also Moran's wife resulted in extensive adverse publicity and many allegations of inappropriate behaviour and pointers to a dysfunctional family unit centred around Moran himself. These allegations were never tested in court but if true must raise questions as to whether these are the sort of people we should trust to care for vulnerable sick and aged citizens. The allegations suggest a lack of empathy and a fit with the dogmatic market viewpoint he espoused and his aggressive labeling of elderly pensioners as "bludgers".

Click Here to explore some aspects of Moran's character and the tragic family fued.


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 Shane Moran returns to hospitals (October 2007)

Shane has gone into business with ex-liberal leader John Hewson and controversial PrimeLife figure Ted Stent. They plan to target hospials and retirement villages among other projects.

May 2007 Shane buys a hospital

But in another neat twist in a tale of two generations of Morans, Dr Moran, Dr Landa and Mr Mangles last year purchased Shellharbour Private Hospital and are set to upgrade it. It is a return of sorts to the Moran family fold for the Shellharbour hospital, built in 1975 by Moran Health Care.

The purchase may also augur some interesting twists and turns for Pulse Health. Dr Moran says the hospital wasn't bought through Biometrics and won't be folded into Pulse Health any time soon because it needs work.
Biometrics seeks clean bill of health under new name Sydney Morning Herald May 21, 2007

To read the full text of many of the recent and many other articles describing what happened in 2007 in more detail go to the Aged Care Crisis search web page. <> Fill in the "Keyword" (eg name). Click on the "news" button and then "Search"


Web Page History
This page created October 2005 by
Michael Wynne
Minor changes September 2006
Last entry Oct 2007