ACT health provider wins $500m contract at Defence
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ACT health provider wins $500m contract at Defence

A Canberra health provider has won a $500 million contract to provide health care for Defence bases across Australia.

The biggest contract yet for the fast-growing Aspen Medical, the four-year deal will involve providing about 1000 special medical staff at bases in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and many other locations.

Co-founder and managing director Glenn Keys said it was probably the biggest health care contract an ACT firm had delivered nationally.

''We have a lot of experience of doing this for Defence, the police, oil and gas companies, indigenous health and public health all around Australia and overseas,'' he said. Since forming in 2003, Aspen has had a meteoric rise providing medical services in remote and difficult environments. This contract will create at least 30 additional jobs at Aspen's headquarters in Deakin.

Medibank Health Solutions announced the deal late yesterday after it won the largest services tender conducted by Joint Health Command for health care professionals for the ADF.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, announced the $1.3 billion contract which will see Medibank provide on-base health support, pathology, imaging and radiology with the help of subcontractors, including Aspen.

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Medibank managing director George Savvides said the contract was an exciting opportunity for all parties involved, enabling the delivery of quality care across health services including prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for physical and mental health.

''This service would not be possible without the expertise of our subcontractors and we are looking forward to working together to ensure better health outcomes for all ADF personnel,'' he said.

Mr Keys said work on winning the contract had been under way since last year.

''We've got extensive experience, we understand the customer and we provided a high quality, competitive bid,'' he said.

Aspen Medical already is one of the largest health care providers to Defence in Australia and in operational zones.

Multinational oil and gas companies use Aspen for medical air evacuations across West Australia and Queensland. In Britain, Aspen provides personnel to the British Ministry of Defence for deployment into Afghanistan.

Mr Keys said that in the Middle East, Aspen was the first Australian company to form a joint venture with the United Arab Emirates government to run a national ambulance service.

In the United States, Aspen provides services for disaster management and humanitarian assistance. It is also in Canada, Papua New Guinea, Timor and Solomon Islands.

AusAID drew on Aspen's expertise in Papua New Guinea to contain a severe cholera outbreak sweeping through remote areas.

Mr Keys said the latest contract would build on Aspen's reputation for providing health care services and training to the ADF.