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Fullerton Healthcare buys medical centre operations of Australia's Healthscope

CORPORATE healthcare solutions provider Fullerton Healthcare Corporation Limited has acquired Healthscope's medical centre operations (HMC), one of the largest primary care operators in Australia, the group said in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) filing on Friday.

HMC has a portfolio of 48 facilities comprising 43 medical centres, four specialist skin clinics and one specialist breast diagnostic clinic. It has over 350 doctors, providing care to 1.8 million patients each year.

Michael Tan, co-founder and group CEO of Fullerton Health, said: "This is an important acquisition for us, which reinforces our stated strategy of developing a strong presence in markets across the region, and specifically to broaden our network in Australia.

"Through this acquisition, we will become the third-largest primary care business in the country, and will be well positioned to support even more doctors and clinics."

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Fullerton Health in late 2016 deferred its listing plans on the SGX mainboard after both the exchange and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) received a series of anonymous letters signed off by concerned doctors and investors.

The complaints focused largely on the group's business model, where it charged doctors who joined its panel a percentage fee.

These came after the Singapore Medical Council in September 2016 released its new Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines that took effect from Jan 1. The revised code frowns upon the industry practice of taking a percentage of the bill.