Residents Incensed About Humber Hospital Mergers and Privatization: Coalitions Call for Honest Public Consultation

    TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Local Liberal MPP Mario Sergio is
misleading constituents on two major health issues in his community during the
election campaign. The health coalition has been given a letter written by
Mr. Sergio to constituents claiming that the Finch Street site of the Humber
River Regional Hospital will not be closed, though the government has already
announced that it will be closed and merged onto a new site. He claims the new
hospital will be public, obscuring the fact that the plan is to build a
privatized P3 hospital, the Ontario Health Coalition revealed today. The
Humber River Health Coalition is holding a public townhall meeting tonight on
this issue.
    The government issued a press release on August 31 confirming that the
three current sites of the Humber River Regional Hospital will be closed and
merged onto one new site. One of the current hospital sites will be
redeveloped into an ambulatory care centre (this means a centre with clinics
but no overnight stays), but none of the current local hospitals will remain
in their current forms. The new hospital will be built as a privatized P3, in
which financing and some management and services will be turned over to
for-profit companies for 20 - 30 years. The OHC is concerned that the public
is receiving misleading information about government plans for the local
    "This is exactly what happened in Brampton," said Dora Jeffries,
coalition co chair. "They told us that they were going to open a new
privatized P3 hospital with 608 beds and the old hospital would be redeveloped
as an ambulatory care centre. Now, we have a new privatized P3 hospital with
479 beds at double the original cost. The P3 privatization has driven costs so
high that the redevelopment of the old site has never happened. Now, with days
until the election, they are saying that they will redevelop the old site, but
there is still no actual plan.
    "In the end, the people of Brampton now find out that we have paid
$880 million in capital and equipment costs for approximately 100 more beds
than we have now, and we are facing nursing lay offs and service cuts to pay
the high costs. Don't let them do the same thing to the Humber River Regional
Hospital," she warned.
    "There has been no public consultation on this issue," added Rennie
Terbogt, member of the Humber River Health Coalition. "The community is being
misled about the plans and once they find out the truth it will be too late.
We are demanding full public disclosure of the plans and negotiations to date
and proper public consultation before any final decisions."

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Health Coalition, (416) 230-6402
(cell); Rennie Terbogt, (416) 710-4563

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