Few Australians today could imagine a time when Australia’s private hospital system was smaller than a cottage industry. The vision of one man, Paul Ramsay, changed all that when in 1964 he opened a 16-bed mental health facility in a house in Sydney and through sheer hard work and commitment went on to become Australia’s largest private hospital operator. With 69 hospitals in Australia and 151 facilities throughout the world, Ramsay Health Care is a testament to one man’s vision to make a difference to the quality of health care for his country and elsewhere. This investment has benefited all Australians.
Part of Paul’s remarkable success was his commitment to the independence of the Australian medical profession. He understood that, given the facilities and the support, Australian doctors could achieve world class results. The growth of private medicine following the 1984 Doctors’ Dispute in NSW owes much to two men who became close friends, namely Bruce Shepherd and Paul Ramsay.
It is fitting that Paul Ramsay is recognised with the Bruce Shepherd Medal for outstanding service to independent medicine.