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The Ontario Health Coalition says it’s pieced together a ‘disturbing picture’ of one of Ontario’s first privatized hospitals.

The coalition has released a new report detailing the cost overruns, service cuts and cover-up accusations that a Brampton P3 hospital is now mired in. Coalition researchers combed through stacks of documents to reach their damning conclusions.  It took a four-year court battle to get access to details of the hospital’s financial arrangements and other details.

The report found that while project costs increased 186 per cent, the hospital shrank from a three-building to a two-building facility with fewer operating rooms and 22 per cent fewer beds. The Brampton Civic Hospital opened two years behind schedule last October. Within weeks of opening, two deaths at the hospital  prompted thousands to march in protest, and the province to intervene by appointing an administrator.

The coalition says both the Conservative and Liberal governments have misled the public about the privatized hospital and its consequences. It’s demanding a moratorium on all hospital P3s and a full examination by the province’s auditor of all P3 deals signed to date, including Brampton’s.

Health Minister George Smitherman has tried to deflect attention from the growing controversy by attacking the coalition as “irrelevant”. But the media isn’t biting. Instead, they’re echoing the coalition’s demand for answers and full disclosure.

With dozens more P3 hospitals in the works, it’s time the Ontario government revealed its case for privatizing these facilities. The $1 billion question is, if it’s such a good deal for taxpayers, what could there be to hide?