Mildura Weekly : Friday May 10 Vol 13 No 27
NEWS 3 FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2019 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU TRISTAR Medical Group is ex- periencing “significant financial strain” the organisation con- firmed this week. The Mildura Weekly believes that Tristar, which has operated in Mildura since 2003 and now boasts practices across the na- tion, is facing a multi-million dollar black hole. An email obtained by the ‘Weekly – sent to Tristar Medi- cal Group CEO, Dr Khaled El- Sheikh, by a company investor on March 15 – details the com- pany’s financial problems, in- cluding fears by the investor that Tristar’s mounting debt – which they claim is in the millions of dollars – will see the business, and its national assets, placed into administration and closed for good. If this is the case, the flow-on effects for the Sunraysia com- munity could be profound, with the GP crisis currently facing the region being compounded. Tristar Medical Group Ex- ecutive Director Clinical Opera- tions, Anne Gardner, this week confirmed that the group was under financial strain, but did not reveal the full extent of the issues facing the medical prac- tice. She said that government regulatory changes, impacts on provision of GPs in regional and rural areas, supervision restric- tions and the ongoing Medicare freeze had contributed to the group’s financial woes. Ms Gardner said that Tristar had already been forced to close its medical practice in Went- worth, and multiple clinics in similar, smaller communities. She did not, however, com- ment on the Mildura clinic’s fu- ture. Ms Gardner also confirmed that Tristar had engaged several investment groups to discuss options to assist the company through the difficult financial period. “BIG Investments is one such group (of investors),” Ms Gardner said. “Any investment arrangements will be in compli- ance with all regulatory and in- dustry governance.” The Mildura Weekly can also confirm that a $2.25million loan was extended to Tristar Medical Group between Christ- mas 2018 and the start of the New Year from a family entity controlled by the children of Terry McMaster – the director of Dover Financial. The Mildura Weekly was made aware of the financial is- sues plaguing Tristar Medical Group earlier this week, when a former employee, who chose to speak to the ‘Weekly anony- mously, claimed that Tristar’s financial troubles also extended to outstanding superannuation payments to staff. They claimed that Tristar owes approximately $1.6mil- lion in superannuation pay- ments to employees, while claiming that they were person- ally owed “thousands of dollars in unpaid super.” Ms Gardner, while not con- firming whether these figures were accurate, said that Tristar have followed “the correct pro- cess, and met our obligations in full by placing a Superannua- tion Guarantee with the Austra- lian Taxation Office (ATO).” “The ATO then retain over- sight into ensuring all superan- nuation payment and interest is calculated correctly for each employee,” she said. “The ATO also oversee the payment plan in accordance with their calcu- lations.” Tristar Medical Group was established in 2003 with a goal to ensure that high-quality, ac- cessible and affordable medical services would always be avail- able to regional, rural and un- der-serviced communities. Since then Tristar has grown to become one of the largest, privately-owned health service providers in Australia, offer- ing allied and industrial health services, practice nurses, com- munity nursing services and specialist centres, which include laser and cosmetic services. Tristar Medical Group cen- tres now extend across six States and Territories. 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New funding to prevent kangaroos & wildlife entering the Wentworth aerodrome. $1.25 million over the next three years for the local Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
Friday May 3 Vol 13 No 26
Friday May 17 Vol 13 No 28