TORONTO The Ontario Health Coalition expressed anger and disappointment today at the news that the Royal Ottawa Hospital has signed the financial close of the P3 deal. This announcement follows the closure of the Brampton hospital P3 deal several weeks ago. The coalition notes that approvals for these private hospital deals had to go through cabinet and receive support from the Liberal government. This, despite clear promises during the election campaign that the government would stop privatization.
- On the eve of the election, CBC & the Ottawa Citizen reported that Mr. McGuinty was committed to building the Royal Ottawa Hospital publicly.
- From the Ottawa Citizen, Wednesday, May 28, 2003, Rod MacIvor: What I take issue with is the mechanism. We believe in public ownership and public financing (of health care). I will take these hospitals and bring them inside the public sector. quote from Liberal leader, Dalton McGuinty. Im calling on Mr. Eves to halt any contract signings when it comes to P3s in the province of Ontario, the Liberal Leader said yesterday during a campaign stop in Kitchener. I stand against the Americanization of our hospitals. Mr. Eves does not have a mandate. He never received a mandate at the time of the last election. He shouldnt be doing these secret deals under cover of a provincial election campaign.
- The Ottawa Citizen, Thursday, October 3, 2003, Greg McArthur with files from April Lindgren: Ill tell you one thing, and this is important news for the people of Ottawa, were going to move ahead with that hospital as soon as possible, Mr. McGuinty said yesterday. But I am not going to do it in the form of a private hospital. I want a public hospital for our city.
Until today, the Royal Ottawa hospital could have been converted into a public hospital with less than $2 million in penalties. Our government had the opportunity to keep our hospitals public and they chose privatization with no public mandate and without ever even justifying it, stated Dora Jeffries, coalition spokesperson. Sadly, this deal will stand alongside Bramptons as a long-term example of how the private corporations will take millions of dollars in profit from our public hospital funding and cut services to those in need.
It is a sad day for those who hope to access comprehensive mental health services in Ottawa, noted Natalie Mehra coalition coordinator. This is the most serious privatization our province has seen to date since it attacks cornerstone Medicare services for an entire generation. We are bitterly disappointed with Mr. McGuintys broken promise on protecting healthcare from privatization. We will do everything possible to stop further for-profit privatization of our hospitals and undo these damaging deals.
For more information, please contact:
Natalie Mehra - 416-230-6402