A Swiss hospital executive who had been leading the development of a facility Tenet Healthcare Corp. is building in Switzerland is missing.
The 56-bed hospital in the town of Cham is one of only two foreign hospitals the investor-owned chain kept after deciding to largely get out of the international business last year.
Although officials of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Tenet were downplaying the disappearance of Heinrich Sistrunk, its executives were scrambling to get the project back on track. Tenet's president and chief operating officer, Michael Focht Sr., and senior vice president, Michael Ford, flew to Switzerland to learn more about Sistrunk's disappearance and the project's status, sources said. Until last fall, Ford was president of Tenet's international division; he now heads the company's domestic acquisition efforts.
Tenet spokeswoman Diana Takvam said Sistrunk resigned for health reasons at the end of May. She declined to comment further.
However, sources said that after a meeting in California with Tenet officials, Sistrunk flew back to Switzerland and disappeared.
It was not known whether Swiss authorities were notified of Sistrunk's disappearance.
There also are questions about progress on the Swiss hospital, which is being built with a $20 million loan from a Swiss bank. In Tenet's annual report, the company says the hospital was expected to open in the second quarter of fiscal 1996, which would have been last November. Tenet's fiscal year ends on May 31.
However, the hospital is still not completed, sources said.
The project was started by American Medical International, a Dallas-based hospital chain that was merged with National Medical Enterprises to form Tenet last year. Sistrunk was hired by AMI. When AMI's facilities were folded into Tenet, the Swiss hospital became part of Tenet's international operations.
However, in an attempt to focus on domestic operations, Tenet decided to divest its international operations in Australia, Great Britain, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. That divestiture was completed last month. It retained only a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, and the Swiss project.