• History

Ramsay Health Care History

Ramsay Health Care was founded by Paul Ramsay AO in 1964 and he went on to become Chairman and major shareholder of the Company which he remained until his death in May 2014.

An Australian entrepreneur, Mr Ramsay is known for his establishment of private hospitals; expanding regional television services; property development; and as a major benefactor to a range of educational, cultural, artistic and sporting organisations.

2014 was the 50th anniversary of the opening of Paul’s first private hospital in Sydney, Australia. From these early beginnings, he went on to establish Ramsay Health Care, which in the year of his death had grown to become not only the largest private hospital group in Australia, but a global hospital group with 212 hospitals across the world, employing over 50,000 staff and treating almost 3 million patients each year.

In addition to healthcare, Mr Ramsay was also heavily involved in the media industry. In 1985 he was the largest radio operator in the UK. He was one of the initiators of television aggregation in Australia and built stations across the country, which today form part of the PRIME7 Television Network. Mr Ramsay was Chairman of the Prime Media Group for almost 30 years until relinquishing this role in April 2014.

For his services to the community, Mr Ramsay was conferred an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2002.

Above all, Mr Ramsay was known by his close friends, family and people who have worked with him, and for him, as a true gentleman and a humble but proud Australian. Under his good guidance, Ramsay Health Care hospitals focus on maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety, being an employer of choice and operating the business according to “The Ramsay Way” philosophy: People Caring for People. His principles and philosophy continue to permeate the organisation well after his death.

Mr Ramsay grew up in Bowral, New South Wales, the son of Oscar, a land surveyor and Mary.

He is greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues, staff and doctors and anyone that knew him, throughout the world.

Paul Ramsay
A video Tribute to our friend & founder Paul Ramsay AO
Paul Ramsay
Ray Martin's interview with Paul Ramsay on 50 years of Ramsay Health Care

In 1964, Paul Ramsay, founder and Chairman of Ramsay Health Care purchased a guesthouse called Warrina House on Sydney’s North Shore and converted it into a psychiatric hospital in the earliest days of the private hospital industry in Australia.

For the first 14 years, Ramsay Health Care expanded its psychiatric hospital business, building Evesham Clinic in 1967, Lynton Private Hospital in 1972 and Northside Clinic in 1973.

Of these hospitals, Evesham Clinic (now known as Northside Cremorne) and Northside Clinic are still in operation today and regarded amongst Sydney’s most respected private psychiatric hospitals.


1978 – 1980

In 1978 and 1979 Ramsay Health Care diversified into the medical/surgical business and built its first surgical hospitals: Baringa Private Hospital in Coffs Harbour opened in 1978 and Albury Wodonga Private Hospital opened in Albury in 1979. They were important hospitals in their regions and today continue to provide valuable healthcare services to their respective communities.

Opened by Paul Ramsay in 1979, Albury Wodonga Private Hospital started out as one ward with 35 beds & two operating theatres. Over the years it has grown to become the region’s largest & most comprehensive private hospital facility boasting 103 beds, five operating theatres, a day surgery centre & mental health unit as well as offering a wide range of diagnostic & support services.



During the 1980s Ramsay Health Care expanded its psychiatric business. It acquired East Terrace Psychiatric Clinic in Adelaide in 1982 and soon opened South Australia’s first purpose-built psychiatric clinic, The Adelaide Clinic, in 1988. In 1986, Ramsay opened New Farm Clinic in Brisbane. By this time, Ramsay Health Care had several successful psychiatric hospitals and had developed a strong profile in mental health care providing valuable input to the industry through representation on lobby groups and associations.

During this period, Ramsay Health Care also purchased two hospitals in Tamworth – Allambie and Tamara Private Hospitals.

Very soon after this the Company set about building an extension to Tamara Private Hospital which included two new operating theatres, a recovery unit, high dependency unit, more beds and a new x-ray area.


1994 & 1995

These years were arguably the turning points for Ramsay Health Care. The Company was successful in its bid to privatise two former repatriation hospitals – Hollywood Hospital in Perth and Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane.

These large metropolitan-based medical/surgical hospitals provided a major boost to the Company’s existing portfolio of regional medical/surgical hospitals. It also launched the Company into medical teaching and research as both Hollywood and Greenslopes hospitals had affiliations with university departments of medicine. The subsequent success of these privatisations demonstrated Ramsay’s health management expertise.



By 1997 Ramsay Health Care employed 2000 staff in 11 hospitals and admitted 70,000 patients each year. In September of this year, Ramsay floated on the Australian Stock Exchange becoming a public company. In its prospectus, the Company invited Australians to “participate in one of Australia’s largest and most successful private health care groups”. In the ensuing year, Ramsay exceeded prospectus forecasts for revenue and profit.



The Company proved its ability to design, finance, construct and operate major projects through the successful development of North Shore Private Hospital which opened in July 1998. Collocated with Royal North Shore in Sydney, North Shore Private became the benchmark for five star hospital care in Australia.

When completed, North Shore Private comprised 164 beds. Today the hospital has grown into a 272 bed facility and has stood the test of time as one of  Sydney’s premier private hospitals.


2001 – 2006

This was a busy acquisition period. Ramsay Health Care acquired several large hospital groups as the private hospital sector in Australia consolidated.

In 2001 Ramsay Health Care successfully acquired Alpha Healthcare and its eight hospitals (Westmead, Berkeley Vale, Southern Highlands, Lawrence  Hargrave, Figtree, Hunters Hill and Mt Wilga Private Hospitals and Wentworth Private Clinic – later to become known as Northside West Clinic).

The Alpha Healthcare acquisition expanded Ramsay’s presence in New South Wales and also provided the Company with a strong rehabilitation portfolio.

In 2004 Ramsay Health Care acquired Benchmark Healthcare (including Peninsula, Beleura, Mitcham, and Donvale Private Hospitals). This acquisition brought the total number of hospitals in the Ramsay Health Care group to 35.

Finally, in April 2005, Ramsay embarked on its largest acquisition yet, purchasing Affinity Healthcare (formerly Mayne Health) and began to integrate this hospital business in August 2005 after selling off 14 ex-Affinity hospitals to Healthscope as instructed by the ACCC. This transaction brought the portfolio of hospitals owned and operated by Ramsay Health Care to 69. The Affinity acquisition would be a “company transforming acquisition” and made Ramsay the largest private hospital operator in Australia.



In 2007 Ramsay Health Care realised its offshore expansion plans acquiring Capio UK, the fourth largest operator of private hospitals in the United Kingdom. Today the Company operates 36 healthcare facilities in the United Kingdom and has established a strong reputation in this region.



In 2010 Ramsay Health Care purchased a 57% interest in Group Proclif SAS (Proclif), a leading private hospital operator based in France. Proclif was a leading operator of private hospitals in the greater Paris region managing nine acute hospitals in the fields of medicine, surgery and obstetrics with approximately 1000 beds and day places. Ramsay launched in France with these nine hospitals under the name Ramsay Santé.



In May 2011 Ramsay Santé purchased a further hospital in France – Clinique Convert – in the Rhône Alpes region.



In June 2013 Ramsay Santé purchased Clinique de l’Union in Toulouse. This 500+ bed hospital is regularly rated in the top three hospitals in France. By this time the Company had 10 hospitals in France.

In July 2013 Ramsay Health Care entered a joint venture arrangement with Malaysian multinational conglomerate Sime Darby Berhad. The new joint venture combined Sime Darby’s portfolio of healthcare assets in Malaysia (three hospitals and a nursing and health sciences college) with Ramsay’s three Indonesian hospitals, under a new jointly owned company, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn Bhd. The deal marked Ramsay’s first step into Asia since acquiring its Indonesian hospitals in 2005. The new joint venture is expected to provide a platform for further acquisition in the Asian health care sector.

In November 2013, back in Australia, Ramsay Health Care opened the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital – Ramsay Health Care’s first new built hospital since it opened North Shore Private Hospital in 1997. The 200 bed Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital treats private and public patients under a five year agreement with Queensland Health.

In December 2013 Ramsay Santé finalised the acquisition of Medipsy, a psychiatric hospital group, from Générale de Santé. Medispy was a leading operator of private psychiatric hospitals in France with 30 hospitals and more than 2600 beds. Following the finalisation of this deal, Ramsay Santé operated 40 hospitals in France and was the third largest independent operator of hospitals in that country.



In June 2014 Ramsay Health Care announced its French division Ramsay Santé, had acquired a controlling interest in Générale de Santé (GdS) which, was completed in October 2014. The acquisition of this market leader of private hospitals in France significantly expands Ramsay’s French portfolio bringing the total to115 facilities (101 hospitals) and makes Ramsay Health Care the largest operator of private hospitals in France.  It also places Ramsay Health Care in the top five private hospital operators in the world.



In 2015 the merger of Ramsay Santé and Générale de Santé was finalised following approval by shareholders from both groups.  In December 2015, the newly merged entity acquired a further nine hospitals in Lille bringing the total number of hospitals in the group to 110 and the total number of facilities including treatment centres to 124.



In November 2018, Ramsay Health Care’s French subsidiary, Ramsay Générale de Santé, acquired Capio AB, a Scandanavian private health care operator. This business has 186 facilities, including emergency hospitals, local hospitals, specialist clinics, and primary care units across Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and France.

The acquisition of Capio allowed Ramsay Générale de Santé to become a pan European health care operator with 308 facilities, 36,000 employees, and seven million patient attendances.


Ramsay Générale de Santé was renamed Ramsay Santé, following the acquisition of  health care company Capio and in line with the group’s strategy of becoming a leader in integrated patient care.