Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
TORONTO In a letter sent to the Board of Directors of the William Osler Hospital today, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE calls for consultations before further steps are taken to build what will be the largest privately owned hospital in Ontario.

Government support for this private hospital represents a dramatic shift in health care policy, and a direct assault on the bedrock principles of Medicare, said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE). Yet the process is proceeding in secret, with neither the provincial government nor the hospital board taking any steps to consult with the public.

The establishment of a 400-bed private hospital at the Brampton campus of the William Osler Health Centre is now the subject of a secretive tendering process with private developers, some of which are believed to be foreign corporations. A letter from the law firm representing CUPE argues that the hospitals board has an obligation to consider alternatives to privatization, and to consult with the community and the union representing workers there before proceeding any further.

“Hospitals in Canada are non-profit institutions, run by boards accountable to the people they serve, and they should stay that way,” said Steven Shrybman, a lawyer representing OCHU/CUPE. “This hospital board should not be privatizing vital health care infrastructure without properly considering alternatives or consulting with those affected.

“The Tories now appear to be abandoning public health care to private companies and foreign investors, putting profits and shareholder value not patient care first. If we are wrong about that, then why is this whole process unfolding behind closed doors?” said Michael Hurley.

The unions letter attaches two reports from Canadian and British medical journals, which document the high costs of privatization for both patients and taxpayers.


For more information:
Michael Hurley, president, OCHU,
416-884-0770 (cell)
Steven Shrybman, lawyer,
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
416-738-4329 (cell)