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Toronto – 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 hospitals.

“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 more information: Ontario Health Coalition 416-230-6402 (cell); Rennie Terbogt 416-710-4563.