8/22/11

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.

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