Ontarians are paying a premium of $164.9 million to replace Kingston’s mental health and rehab hospitals with a public private partnership. That’s nearly 38 per cent more than the public alternative.
The figures come from Infrastructure Ontario’s own Value for Money (VFM) document recently posted on-line.
The VFM notes the basic costs of the new hospital would have been $435.9 million had the province pursued the more traditional public procurement processes. Instead contracts were signed to build the same hospital for $600.8 million under a scheme that bundles 30-year financing and maintenance with the project’s design-and-build contract. When inflation and ongoing maintenance costs are applied to the contract, that amount rises to $901 million over the life of the agreement.
Infrastructure Ontario justifies the higher price tag by arguing the P3 actually saves $152.5 million by transferring the risk of cost overruns to the private sector. They calculate that risk at a staggering 88 per cent of the cost of the publicly-procured model – or $383.6 million on the $435.9 million price tag.
Following Monday’s demonstration outside the former Kingston psychiatric hospital, Providence Care is now telling staff that the job cuts and bed closures are not about funding. Really? Even though the hospital is running at capacity, even though it is next to impossible to get a loved one admitted to a bed, even though long-term projections suggest greater need for mental health services in Kingston, even though the situation has become volatile with overcrowding and understaffing, the hospital expects us to believe that this is all part of the plan.
Sigh. If this is the plan, Providence Care desperately needs a new one.
On Monday we shot video of the demonstration outside the centre (below). If you live in Kingston, please share our video with others. The campaign to reverse the cuts continues. It’s time the LHIN involves the community in a plan that actually makes sense. Stay tuned for more events.
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Tagged Brendan Kilcline, Chris Cormier, d, Dave Lundy, Kingston mental health cuts, Kingston P3 hospital, Mary Rita Holland, Providence Care, Ross Sutherland, Tracey Newton, Warren "Smokey" Thomas