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A vital asset for our city.

MANY people in Liverpool will be fearful of the fate now lying in store for the Lourdes Hospital in Mossley Hill - the city's only private hospital.

The order of nuns which runs the hospital, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, has decided to put the building on the market - primarily, they insist, with the aim of selling it as a going concern.

But staff members now facing a particularly uncertain future are quite justifiably saying that Lourdes, in a prime area of real estate in affluent south Liverpool, would yield far greater and far speedier profits for a developer than they ever would to a private hospital company.

That would be a great pity. With the Government now edging ever closer to a situation where far more money is being paid up-front for previously free NHS services, the notion of signing up for private medical care will sound increasingly appealing to many people.

Certainly, there are private hospitals around Liverpool, in Southport, Wirral, and Chester, for instance, but it barely bears thinking about that the city itself could be left without such a vital resource.

Apartment blocks and top- of-the-range residential developments are shooting up in all areas of the city - which many might say is no bad thing. It shows that Liverpool is on the up, and that companies are no longer shying away from substantial investment projects in the area.

But there must come a point, possibly now not very far off, when the sheer amount of development begins to impact on valuable assets - such as the Lourdes Hospital - to the detriment of the already resident population.

We can appreciate the reasons why the nuns feel the time is right to sell the hospital, and we hope and trust that the income they receive from the sale will do much to help those now relying on the order for the quality of their care.

But we would also hope that a reputable hospital company might recognise the need that Lourdes has fulfilled in the city, and consider building on that goodwill to buy it as a going concern and maintain it for the long-lasting good of the people of Liverpool.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 10, 2006
Words:364
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