400 Vic hospital workers face joblessness

The nurses' union is set to meet with Victorian workers facing the sack over coming weeks, with the closure of two hospitals in Melbourne and Geelong.

Healthscope says it will close the Cotham and Geelong private hospitals over the next four weeks because "it is simply not viable" to keep them running.

About 400 staff work across the two facilities, with the bulk at Geelong and approximately 100 at Cotham, in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Kew.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says the decision affects at least 200 nurses and is "incredibly distressing for our members and their families".

It plans to meet with nurses at the two hospitals on Wednesday.

The Geelong site is owned by Barwon Health, which also provides public services at the facility.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy says Barwon Health will continue to operate from the site and staff cut from Healthscope can apply to work in the public system.

"Unfortunately what we've seen in Geelong is the result of over-investment in private hospital services in this region," she told reporters on Tuesday.

The Labor Andrews government has not ruled out taking over the Geelong facility entirely.

In a statement to the ASX, Healthscope said it Victorian hospital portfolio had been underperforming.

"We conducted an exhaustive evaluation of alternatives but unfortunately it is simply not viable to continue operations into the future," chief executive Gordon Ballantyne said of the Geelong and Melbourne facilities.

Healthscope added that the closures would be phased in over the next four weeks to "minimise disruption for patients and doctors".