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In Britain, it’s difficult to say who has benefited more from the boom in privately owned and operated hospitals — the developers or the consulting firms that have sold the costly model. Some of those same firms are now pushing P3 hospitals in Canada and they’re getting a warm welcome from the Campbell government in BC.

What is clear from the British experience is that communities will be the big losers in this scheme. Higher financing costs result in fewer beds and staff, while the artificial separation of support services from patient care undermines the quality of care and gives rise to buck-passing and inefficiencies.

Determined that their community not be a testing ground for privatization experiments, Abbotsford residents and health care workers are demanding the province build a new hospital and build it soon — publicly.