The government’s new mandate is an opportunity for a fresh perspective and evaluation of policies during its first term. While Ontario’s nurses are supportive of many of the government’s policies, we remain deeply concerned about its use of “alternate financing and procurement”, more commonly known as a “public-private partnerships” or P3s, to finance public infrastructure – including hospitals. Not only is this more costly to taxpayers, but it takes public control away from our most valued public facilities.
During its last term, the government announced a program of alternative financing and procurement (AFPs) for hospitals and other public infrastructure. Its position is that AFPs are not P3s because they will remain publicly owned and controlled. However, they will be privately financed, and the government has not committed to full public operation.
The government chose this method of financing, and established controls that it believed would deliver value for money and would transfer risk to the private sector. These efforts speak to the well-documented evidence that the costs of public-private partnerships (P3s) tend to be higher, while the quality of the service is reported to be poor. The evidence also shows that risk transfer is both unclear and comes at a high cost (about a 30 per cent increase) .
In addition to the direct impacts on finance, delivery, and quality of each project, there are the broader implications of this method of financing. It creates a new and powerful stakeholder group – the private consortiums – whose clear long-term interest is the expansion of health-care privatization.
RNAO encourages members to write to the Premier and urge him to reconsider using P3s to fund hospital construction. . To quickly send a letter, enter your name and e-mail address below. You can send the letter below as is, or make any modifications you wish. Please make sure to mention that you are an RN and to sign the bottom of your letter, as well.