Privatized P3 hospital disaster: Brampton residents bring a warning to Sault Ste. Marie



    SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - "The privatized Brampton P3
hospital has been a story of secrecy, deception, delays, massive costs
overruns, proposed tax increases, and reduced medical services," said Ed
Schmeler, speaking for the Brampton Health Coalition at a briefing today, as
he described the ever-growing disaster of the privatized P3 hospital deal in
Brampton.
    "At first, they said it would cost $350 million. Later, they disclosed
the costs were $550 million. Now they have ballooned to $900 million. The
private multinational investors behind the deal are guaranteed to get
$240 million back as private profit in the form of dividends. To guarantee
these private profits, Bramptonians are being asked to come up with
$127 million in additional local contributions by October 2007. This is a far
cry from the initial promises of having 25 years to raise our local
contribution - a fact the government only informed residents of three full
years after the deal was signed. In other words, they lied to us.
    "They tried to sell it to us using figures their own independent
consultants told them were misleading-the private consortium's business case
overstated the cost of the public comparator in the value assessment by at
least $300 million. And they are already trying similar deception tactics
again in North Bay."
    "Meanwhile, beds at the hospital have been reduced from 608 to 479. If
Sault Ste. Marie goes down the same path, you are looking at delays, cost
overruns, and vast sums of public money funneled to lawyers and multinational
private investors, all at the expense of medical services and local control."
    David Harasymiw, of the Sault Ste. Marie Health Coalition, says,
"Especially with an election coming up, politicians are listening. Sault
residents can stop a privatized P3 disaster from happening here. But despite
government claims that they have changed their current privatization deals,
the financial model is just like Brampton. How will they pay for this? The
same as they have in Brampton - through cuts to services and local tax
increases. The one thing they won't cut is the profits they want us to pay
for. We're asking all of Sault Ste. Marie to come and sign pledges across the
city on Saturday June 23, saying that they will vote to keep Ontario's
hospitals 100% public this coming election."




For further information:

For further information: David Harasymiw, (705) 941-8666 (cell)

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Ontario Health Coalition

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