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Friday, April 7, 2000
Private hospitals to house paying guests during Olympics

  SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- For sports fans sick of trying to find a hotel in Sydney during the Olympics, a private health company has the answer: Staying in empty hospital rooms.

  Looking to cash in on the expected shortage of accommodations, Health Care of Australia plans to offer its empty beds as hotel-style accommodations.

  The bad news is the beds are only being offered to staff and their families and friends.

  The company is offering packages ranging from single beds at $45 per night to a ward of six beds at $144 per night.

  And it promises that healthy guests will be kept apart from patients.

  Virtually all of Sydney's hotel beds are booked for the duration of the Sept. 15-Oct. 1 Olympics.

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