Skip to main content

It just keeps getting worse for P3 privatization

The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee in Britain "rubbished" PFI (i.e. Public Private Partnerships or "P3s") on Friday, but the problems for P3 hospitals are only just starting.

The business friendly Sunday Telegraph has gotten its mitts on government documents which indicate that the cost of hospital P3 deals signed since 1997 "will swell by almost one quarter from 2011 to 2014".

This will mean that the hospitals are going to have to find (what is euphemistically referred to as ) "efficiency savings".  The Telegraph story Hospitals to cut services to pay for £60bn private finance deal reports that the hospitals are already drawing up the plans for the required "savings".

Payments by hospitals to P3 corporations  will grow by almost £1 billion during the next payment review from 2011 to 2014. Of a total £60 billion debt owed to the P3 corporations "less than £5 billion will have been paid to them by the time of a likely general election next May."

The Telegraph goes on to note:
The steep increases come as the NHS (National Health Service) prepares for its annual budget to be frozen, meaning cuts in real terms as PFI and other costs rise. As a result, hospitals have been ordered by Sir David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive, to make "efficiency savings" of at least £15 billion over the same period. The Department of Health returns to the Treasury show the £60 billion total cost of the schemes to taxpayers is more than five times the capital value of the buildings. Annual payments will rise from less than £500 million at the last election, in 2005, to £1.5 billion by 2014, peaking at £2.2 billion by 2029.
Both the Liberal and Progressive Conservative  parties in Ontario have backed P3 hospitals.  While these parties merely followed Britain in the move to P3 hospitals, the province is now planning to develop P3 hospitals on a large scale, like Britain.   Despite all the bad news from Britain, there is no sign of any move to change this approach.

In contrast, the New Democrats oppose P3 hospitals.


Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.

This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.

Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.

As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…