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Prime chief defends pulling out of deal

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Prem Reddy, M.D., who runs  Prime Healthcare Services Inc., defended his decision to pull out of a deal to buy six Catholic hospitals. He told the Los Angeles Times it  was wrong to suggest that he placed profit over patients.

“It’s the most callous and irresponsible statement,” said Dr. Reddy, the cardiologist who founded the Ontario, Calif.-based hospital chain in 2001. “It has nothing to do with profits.”

For more than a year, Reddy and other executives at Prime had worked on the deal with Daughters of Charity Health System.

“But on Tuesday, the deal collapsed when Reddy walked away, saying that Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris had put conditions on the sale that made it financially impossible,” the Times reported.

“Harris had lashed out at Prime, saying that by walking away, the company was confirming longtime concerns ‘that the continuity of vital healthcare services in these communities is not its priority.”’

Reddy said he was still interested in buying the six hospitals – especially if they declared bankruptcy.

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