Despite campaigning against P3 hospitals, the Ontario Liberals have announced five new ones over the summer. They are trying to spin the privatized hospitals as public facilities, calling them “alternative financing and procurement projects.”
New P3 construction or hospital redevelopments have been announced in Belleville, Mississauga, North Bay, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie. Two P3 hospitals are already underway in Brampton and Ottawa. The Ontario Health Coalition predicts 23 of 66 new hospital projects in the coming years will be privately financed.
Countering the government’s spin, the coalition points out that while the province is retaining public ownership, it is in name only. “Since they give up the lands, the services and the facility management for 30 years, which is the economic life of the building, it’s kind of moot that we would retain public title,” coalition coordinator Natalie Mehra told the Toronto Star.
The Star reports that privately, Liberal officials admit their approach to hospital renewal is “virtually identical to the Tory initiatives” that unleashed P3 hospitals on the province.