The race is on between the BC and Ontario governments to see who can build the country’s first private hospital – and CUPE is throwing up every possible roadblock to ensure nobody crosses the finish line.
In addition to the planned private hospital in Abbotsford, BC, CUPE members are now mobilizing against looming plans for a privately financed, owned and maintained hospital in Brampton, Ontario. The scheme, announced last week, is bad news for patients, taxpayers and workers.
“This so-called public private partnership hospital is really privatization in disguise, masking a bigger plan to gobble up all of our public health care,” said National President Judy Darcy.
Another privately-owned hospital is expected to be announced in Ottawa on Friday.
“The right-wing politicians in Ontario and BC are fighting over who gets to wield the flame thrower as they blaze this dangerous path towards Medicare’s destruction. Private hospitals threaten our public health care system under NAFTA rules. If we don’t act now, the low levels of care and high cost to taxpayers that are the hallmark of these hospitals could soon spread from coast to coast,” added Darcy.
The Ontario and BC government plans parrot a British private hospital initiative that has provided substandard care while rewarding shareholders with massive profits.
“High quality dietary, laundry, cleaning and other services are essential to proper health care. Contracting out will compromise that care – and is the first step to a fully privatized hospital with for-profit surgical services. This week, the first surgical services were handed over to a private British hospital. We simply refuse to go down that road,” said Darcy.
CUPE has a concrete plan to expand and improve public health care, preventing any health care privatization. Yet the federal government continues to sit on the sidelines.
“It’s now a three-alarm fire, with outbreaks in Alberta, BC and Ontario – where’s Allan Rock?” asked Darcy. “We need some serious and decisive action from the federal government to stop these corporations from tap dancing around the Canada Health Act while they strategize on how to trample Medicare altogether.”