By Doug Charles
(WINDSOR, ON) – I have been struggling with the almost perfect way to summarize the issues relating to Ontario’s new hospitals. I found it, but it was not written by my own hand.
It comes in the form of an article by John Sewell and Karina Dahlin published by TVO.
The authors explain that communities across Ontario are limited to the option of building on the outskirts of town as recommended by consultants, hired on the advice, or perhaps insistence, of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
There is an insistence on 30-60 acre lot sizes which precludes building within the urban fabric. Suggestions are made that if the local community objects too strongly, funding for a new hospital in that community will be put on the back burner.
“The only rationale one can think of for choosing these edge locations is that they offer sizable pieces of land where some large company, retained under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model used by the Ontario government, can have a free hand in construction,” the authors suggest.
The private partners design, build, finance, and maintain, and/or operate parts of the hospital, “… but the ministry needs to pay no money until the place is open and operating — seven or eight years from now, well after the next election.”
One of the few questions the authors leave unanswered is the motive of the provincial government.
Surely the elected portion of the government doesn’t expect these short-sighted locations will help get their party in at future elections. This is hardly patient-centred hospital building. Perhaps, this is the result of bureaucratic motives.
Further investigation is required into the government’s failed statutory and fiduciary duties.
So far, the opposition parties seem to be in on the scam. PPP’s were the Conservative’s idea and the local NDP are strangely cooperative.