Who owns and operates our hospitals and how hospital services are provided matters. Public hospitals cost less, deliver more, and prioritize public interests.

Did you know?

  • Privatized health care poses a direct threat to patient care and services. But our governments are allowing private, for-profit companies to design, build, finance, and operate our hospitals in what are known as public-private partnerships, or P3s.
  • P3 hospitals cost more. In North Bay, Ottawa, Montreal, Brampton, and Vancouver they’ve incurred billions of dollars of cost overruns. They’ve also been built with fewer beds than promised and haven’t met community needs.
  • To generate profits, companies cut hospital services, staff, beds, and resources. This causes overcrowding. Patients end up receiving treatment in hallways, which results in longer stays and an increased risk of infection.
  • Hospital services, like cleaning, food, and laundry, are often contracted out and privatized. Contracting out lowers the quality of patient services and impacts patient safety.
  • When cleaning services are contracted out, staff are cut, and rates of hospital acquired infections – or superbugs – increase. This results in prolonged hospital stays, preventable deaths, and increased costs.
  • Contracting out is also bad for workers. It results in a loss of hours, lower wages, work intensification, understaffing, and greater risks to health and safety. These outcomes adversely impact the quality of care patients should expect to receive.

Public hospitals work best for patients and our communities.

It makes sense to build our hospitals publicly. Our governments can borrow money at lower rates than private companies, which makes construction costs more affordable.

  • Our hospitals should also be publicly owned and operated. It ensures public health care dollars are directly invested in patient care, rather than the profit margins of private companies.

It’s vital that hospitals stop contracting out and bring support services back in-house. When privately run hospitals contract out services and reduce staff to maximize profits, patients suffer.

  • Hospitals need to increase in-house levels of cleaning staff to optimize cleanliness, decrease infections, and ensure a healthier and safer environment for patients.
  • Food needs to be cooked in-house so that meals are freshly prepared, high quality, and tailored to meet patient needs. This improves patient food satisfaction and is crucial to improving patient health.
  • Laundry services need to stay in-house because it costs less. It also protects local communities against laundry plant closures that result when private companies centralize services to boost profits.

We need to fix the problems our hospitals currently face with adequate funding and more, not less investment in the public system.

Public solutions cost less, cover everyone, and deliver more.

Public hospitals cost less, provide better care, and promote public interests. We need to protect public hospitals against the dangers of privatization. Canadians deserve better.

We need to ask the federal and provincial governments to act now.

To find out how, or for more information, visit our website: cupe.ca/health-care-public-solutions or e-mail us: public-solutions@cupe.ca.