16 March 1999
Foreign Investment and Review Board
The Treasury Building
Dear Mr Hinton,
Sun Healthcare - - - - URGENT
I enclose for your urgent attention a report which indicates that Sun Healthcare is obtaining a larger stake in Alpha Healthcare and will soon have total control.
I remind you that a probity check in Victoria recently found Sun Healthcare sadly wanting. In addition to this Alpha and Sun protested during this process on the basis that Sun did not control Alpha Healthcare. It is abundantly clear that they do plan to fully control Alpha and turn it into a totally controlled Sun subsidiary.
I have today posted to Mr V K Joice in your department press reports in which the Connecticut attorney general scathingly describes a US $8.4 million fraud settlement with Sun Healthcare as displaying extreme "arrogance and avarice". In this he totally contradicted and ridiculed the wording of the company's own release on the matter. The attorney general described it as an "open and closed case" based on the documents alone. To assist you I have sent Mr Joice copies of some of the documents used in prosecuting this fraud.
You will of course be aware from the information sent to you that Sun faces court actions and allegations that thousands have suffered and died needlessly in its nursing homes from neglect because in its drive for profits it deliberately refused to supply the staff needed to care for them properly. The validity of these allegations is supported by a federal investigation and by actions taken by the Californian authorities.
I sincerely trust that FIRB will take every step in its power to prevent Sun from increasing its holding in Australia and getting it out of our country. It poses a very serious threat to Australian citizens.