Buyers eye St Stephen’s Hospital in Maryborough

MARYBOROUGH'S St Stephen's Hospital has two potential buyers, but acting general manager Terence Seymour said he couldn't yet name the interested parties.

Speaking on behalf of UnitingCare Health, the current owners of the hospital, Mr Seymour said more information about the sale of the hospital, and what the building might be used for, would probably be available later this month.

He said at this point he was unable to confirm whether the building would remain a hospital or whether Wesley Medical Imaging and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology Maryborough Collection Centre would continue to operate from the health centre.

The private hospital was closed in October last year after the opening of the new digital St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay.

In February last year, the Maryborough and Hervey Bay Friendly Society Chemists board indicated it was considering taking over the facility and maintaining it in its current state, but phone calls to a member of the board yesterday went unanswered.

At the time, board chairman Theo Jamieson said the group was interested in preserving the hospital for the people of Maryborough.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he knew Friendlies had expressed interest at the start of last year, but said it he was uncertain about whether Friendlies still wanted to be involved.

"I got the impression they were remotely interested," Cr O'Connell said.

He said Friendlies would have to investigate whether there was a strong business case to maintain the building as a hospital and whether it would make sense from an economic perspective if they were one of the prospective buyers.

Peter Olds, a strong advocate for the hospital, declined to comment yesterday, saying he would wait until further information was available.

Fraser Coast councillor Daniel Sanderson was cautiously optimistic about the future of the hospital, saying he has heard talk that there are two potential buyers.

"It's very good news," Cr Sanderson said.

"It's a good step forward."