TORONTO The Eves government is being given until the end of the day today to come clean on its plans to hand over ownership of public hospitals to their big business backers or appear in court Monday morning to defend their actions.
Lawyers for a coalition of unions and health care advocates have written to the Minister of Health today informing him that an interim injunction will be sought unless they receive his immediate undertaking that no further action will be taken to approve P3 schemes at the Royal Ottawa Hospital or the William Osler Health Centre in Brampton.
We dont want Eves making any last minute deals awarding his corporate cronies with fat contracts that will allow them to extract millions of dollars from our health care system, said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
Weve seen in the past 24 hours the board of the Royal Ottawa Hospital sign a contract with a consortium that includes multinational corporations with a sorry history in Britain and weve heard from the hospital they expect cabinet approval of this deal in the next few days. We want to ensure the Eves government does nothing that would make a bad situation worse, said Hurley.
Current polls suggest the Conservatives are likely to be defeated in next weeks provincial election. Opposition leaders have clearly stated their opposition to public-private partnership (P3) schemes in public hospitals.
We know that private ownership of public hospitals is bad for patients, taxpayers and communities. In fact, they are a disaster for everyone except the corporations and consultants pushing the idea, said Hurley. We want some straight answers to clear questions about who is in control and who is benefiting from these schemes. And if we cant get a commitment from the government that they will hold off any approvals until after the elections, we are going to be seeking an injunction on Monday to stop this sell off in its tracks.
CUPE is joining with OPSEU, SEIU and the Ontario Health Coalition in asking the courts to quash any deals that have been signed for P3 hospitals, arguing the deals contravene the Public Hospitals Act.
A copy of the letter to the government is available at our website at cupe.ca
For further information, please contact:
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU, 416-884-0770