26 Sep Nova Scotia Health Coalition Launches New Campaign Against Private Healthcare Deals
The Nova Scotia Health Coalition launched its new province-wide campaign against for-profit deals to replace hospitals and other public healthcare infrastructure today.
The campaign, Private Deals, Proven Failures, includes province wide television ads which begin running Monday night. The campaign highlights private funding deals’ proven record of failure when used to finance and build public infrastructure.
“Public buildings like hospitals, schools and libraries are the centres our communities and we should make sure that Nova Scotians, not-for-profit companies, own and control them,” said Chris Parsons, the Coalition’s Provincial Coordinator.
“From the P3 schools in Nova Scotia to hospitals in England, we have over two decades of evidence that private funding deals cost more, deliver less and keep the public in the dark,” continued Parsons.
Alongside the television ads and social media campaign, the Health Coalition is planning a series of meetings and events throughout the province in the fall and winter to provide Nova Scotians with a chance to discuss the future of public health care, including infrastructure renewal.
A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia released this July shows that the P3 funding model used to build and finance 39 public schools in Nova Scotia did not bring new private money to the province or prevent the provincial government from taking on new debt. The report also highlighted the lacked transparency inherent in private deals and showed that it will end up costing Nova Scotians an additional $230 million dollars to buy if we want to own the schools when the leases end. On September 22, the Nova Scotia Department of Education announced that it was paying an additional $1.8 million dollars for an eight month extension on the leases of three schools in the Strait Regional School Board.
Nova Scotia is not the only province which is seeing that private funding deals have failed to deliver on their promises: last year Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk found that between 2005 and 2014 the use of private funding deals to manage and finance the construction of public infrastructure cost that province an extra $8 billion dollars. These extra costs are money that is not spent on the front line delivery of health care and other social programs.
“We are calling on politicians from all parties to reject a funding model which has proven to be inefficient, secretive and which removes control and ownership from Nova Scotians and hands it over to for-profit corporations,” Parsons added.
The Nova Scotia Health Coalition is a political but non-partisan organization committed to defending, strengthening and extending public health care.