Skip to main content

P3 Toil & Trouble (while Ontario charges ahead). Short Video

The Ontario government is launching a massive drive to bring many more public private partnership (P3) hospitals to Ontario. While this is getting little play in the election, this form of privatization will have major consequences for Ontario.

England  started the P3 (or "PFI") craze, launching a similar, massive P3 drive over a decade ago.  They are now beginning to regret it dearly, with 60 hospitals falling into financial crisis due to their P3 deals.  

Here are some of the results in England  according to the normally conservative newspaper, The Telegraph :
  • The taxpayer owes a total of £121.4 billion on P3s  projects -- although they are worth only £52.9 billion. Next year’s P3 bill alone will be £8.6 billion (a little under $14 billion)
  • The National Audit Office reported in April that that each household will have to pay nearly £400 ($632) next year.
  • Young people starting work this year will pay taxes for the P3s until they are nearly 70.
  • Many P3 deals tie local authorities into expensive catering, cleaning and maintenance contracts (with the privatized P3 corporations), meaning the total bill to the taxpayer is £229 billion. In one case, a school was charged £320 ($505) for an electrical plug.
  • Private contractors who have P3 deals with the Government are set to make billions of pounds in profit, with some due to see returns of up to 71 per cent.
Some examples of P3 deals include:
  • A hospital which charged £52,000 for a job that cost £750. 
  • A P3 contractor which began charging £2,600 a year for the “extra cleaning" after a smoking hut was demolished.
  • A hospital in Bromley, south London, which will cost the NHS £1.2billion, more than 10 times what it is worth.
  • A P3 contractor that must be paid £370,000 a year for the next 16 years for a school in Belfast, even though the school closed .
The Telegraph also notes that an almost unknown London company, Innisfree, with only 14 staff, is the largest single player in the PFI market, owning or co-owning 269 PFI schools and 28 hospitals. It adds:

Innisfree’s profit margin was 53 per cent last year. A successful FTSE 100 company makes margins of around 6 per cent. David Metter, the founder and chief executive of Innisfree, owns almost three-quarters of the company and collected pay and dividends of £8.6 million last year.
Innisfree was recently part of the consortia that won a massive P3 hospital contract in Montreal.  Expect to hear more from them in Canada.

The Telegraph notes, "Even as far back as ten years ago unions began to give dire warnings about the future cost to the country of PFI schemes." 

The same is true in Ontario -- trade unions have warned the Ontario government about P3s.  And the government has received those warnings with the same indifference as the English government did ten years ago. 

The Ontario Liberals and PCs have both backed P3 hospitals.  Of the parties in the Legislature, only the  NDP has opposed them.  


Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.

Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…