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Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will address a public forum on the proposed for-profit hospital in Brampton today. Darcy will speak about the perils of for-profit hospitals and privatization of health care services. The forum is part of the Brampton Health Coalition’s Save Public Medicare campaign and will be held this evening (Monday) at 7:00 p.m. at the Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre, 292 Conestoga Drive, in Brampton.

The government has no mandate to privatize this community’s hospital – just as they had no right to privatize Hydro One,” says Darcy. “They’re so desperate to turn essential public services into money machines, they’re trampling the rights of Ontario residents, including the rights of future generations.”

The Ontario government hasn’t been up front about the true costs – or the impact on patient care,” says Darcy. “There’s been no real consultation and they’re forcing a private hospital or no hospital. I call that blackmail.”

William Osler Health Centre leaders visited Worcester and Norwich and Norfolk private hospital projects in Britain before agreeing to a for-profit hospital in Brampton.

In Worcester, the private hospital was originally estimated at 45 million when first advertised for tenders in 1995. It was eventually given a go-ahead at 110 million. But the annual lease payment for the building alone is 7.2 million, giving a total cost over 30 years of 216 million. The scheme will cost the Worcestershire Health Authority an extra 7 million a year.

The experience in Britain has been clear,” warns Darcy. “Just like they ignored the California disaster with Hydro privatization, this government is blindly forging ahead with private hospitals when they know it’s proved very costly in Britain – the people of Ontario won’t stand for it.”

Brampton needs a new hospital with it’s growing population,” adds Darcy. “But it should be financed and operated publicly.”

For further information, please contact:
Robert Lamoureux , CUPE Communications
Michael Hurley, President, CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions
416-599-0770 (office) - 416-884-0770 (cell)
Susan Ruffo, EA to Judy Darcy
613-447-5983 (cell)