Mahon hospital staff lose wages and their P45s

FORMER staff at what was the country’s newest private hospital have been told there is no money to pay their wages and they could also face difficulties claiming unemployment benefit because of a lockdown of the Cork Medical Centre (CMC) where their P45s are on file.

James Sheehan, chief executive of the €90 million medical facility, has written to staff advising them CMC Medical Operations Ltd is insolvent and the hospital would not be reopening.

“Unfortunately in this situation the company does not have the resources to pay any outstanding wages and it will be necessary for you to apply to the liquidator in due course in respect of any money owed to you,” Mr Sheehan wrote.

He said they had been “working very hard to get you the required documentation for a future employer and other social services [but had] been restricted from the premises and our files”.

However, Mr Sheehan said he believed this issue would be “resolved shortly”. The building at Mahon Gate outside Cork city remained locked yesterday and a sign above reception which read “Cork Medical Centre” had been removed.

Landlord of the premises John Cleary, of John Cleary Developments, said he did not wish to comment.

Approximately 75 staff had been employed at CMC, which opened just five months ago and which hoped to employ close to 500 when fully operational. The Sheehan Medical Group has blamed the closure, after just five months, on the decision by the VHI not to come on board.

Philip Sheehan, CMC’s chief operations officer, told the Irish Examiner recently that a number of private equity firms had expressed interest in the facility. They include CapVest, the majority stakeholder in the Mater Private hospital, co-led by Cavan-born businessman Séamus Fitzpatrick.

A CapVest spokesperson said they do not want to comment on speculation.

There was additional speculation that the Mater Private may be interested in acquiring the building as a remote annex of the Mater Private in Dublin. A Mater Private spokesperson declined to comment.

Creditors of CMC Medical Operations Ltd are expected to be notified this week in relation to a creditors’ meeting. Siemens Financial Services who are owed almost €8m were the only creditor mentioned.

The building that housed CMC was independently valued at €57m and was fitted out at a cost of €20m.

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