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P3 hospitals a serious threat to the public health care system, economists argue.

TORONTO -- Four prominent economists and a former director of audit operations with Canada's Auditor General released a report that is sharply critical of Ontario's controversial "public-private-partnership" in design, financing building and managing hospitals advocated by the previous Progressive-Conservative government.

The group commends the new provincial government for rejecting the P3 model for public hospitals, including those planned for Brampton and Ottawa.

The reports' authors are: Lewis Auerbach, Arthur Donner Phd., Douglas D. Peters Phd., Monica Townson and Armine Yalnizyan.

In a letter to the Ministers of Health and Long-Term Care, and Public Infrastructure Renewal, the authors describe P3 hospitals as posing "a serious threat to the public health care system." They urge the government "to carry through with the commitment to cancel the P3 projects proposed for the Royal Ottawa and William Osler Hospitals" and to "ensure that all future investment in public hospitals accords with the principles of public financing, ownership and not-for-profit administration."

The authors conclude that when properly accounted for, P3 hospitals "are likely to be 10% more costly than hospitals that are publicly financed, owned and operated."

Their report concludes that there is every reason to expect that if P3 hospitals were established in Ontario, they would result in "a deterioration of hospital services, diminished accountability, an increase in two-tier care, and needless cost." The authors claim the P3 system is likely to "discourage confidence in publicly funded health care, and weaken support for the medicare model."

The report was issued by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 613-563-1341 x306

Link to a copy of the report visit www.communityaction.ca
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Title Annotation:Health
Publication:Community Action
Date:Nov 17, 2003
Words:265
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