Why Finance A Hospital?

A traditionally financed hospital in Peterborough cost tax payers just $283 million to build and equip when it opened only 10 years ago. The bed capacity is 529, but the facility has just under half the floor space of the proposed hospital for Windsor and Essex County. The so-called mega-hospital will cost $1.7 Billion with 1.6 million sq ft.

Humber River Hospital, in North York, cost tax payers $1.7 Billion as a P3 financed/build, and the government contributed $612 million upon completion. The province will also pay $54 million annually for the next 30 years.

For double the space of Peterborough’s hospital, shouldn’t the cost of our new hospital be just about double, or around $600 million total? That’s the amount of the province’s likely down payment.

Locally, we have to contribute 10% of the total expenditures, not just the cost of construction, which comes out to $200 million. The furniture and equipment were estimated at $267 million at the time of completion. Officials have mentioned fundraising goals of $150 to 200 million for this.

The cost of infrastructure to service the hospital site was estimated at $220 million, back before the secondary plan was just 221 hectares. Now it is 400 hectares.

The government doesn’t pay for the construction of revenue generating areas, like parking lots, the cafeteria or restaurants, retail spaces, medical offices for lease, etc. Those costs have to be recouped somehow, presumably from the revenues generated.

So, in all likelihood, the local users and visitors of the hospital will pay higher prices for parking, food, beverages, and so on. Those are additional costs to be borne locally.

The province’s down payment added to our local costs comes out to at least $1.2 billion. Those costs could be reduced by proper planning, but why do we need to finance this hospital at all?

Paying over $50 million a year is a pretty high maintenance bill at the expense of nurses and union jobs.