Not again! Alberta should say no to Public-Private Partnerships

Not again! Alberta should say no to Public-Private Partnerships

Last week, the Alberta government sent out a post-budget update on the Red Deer Hospital project, which included their plans for Phase 2 of the project to include: “construction of an ambulatory care building using a public-private partnership (P3) delivery model.” P3s are well known to be more expensive, while harming public services. Previous attempts to use a P3 model to build labs and hospitals in Alberta have repeatedly been fought against and rejected by patients and health care workers.

“Despite repeated attempts and failures, the idea of Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) are still being presented as an ‘innovative’ way to build hospitals. But the truth is, P3s aren’t innovative, they are a grift that funnels public health care funds into private profits.” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “History has shown us time and time again that P3s end up costing more, they limit transparency over our health care, and they hand over our control of crucial public infrastructure. And when they fail, it’s our public health care system that has to step in to clean up the mess. The only winners are the corporations that get to walk away with big profits from our public tax dollars.”

Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) have a failing record all across the country, including right here in Alberta. After years of issues with the P3 model for building schools, the former conservative government under Premier Redford finally abandoned them. Ignoring that experience, the UCP government aggressively attempted to use P3s to build needed schools yet again, before ultimately abandoning that model in 2022.

“The track record is clear, yet this UCP government seems stubbornly unwilling to learn their lesson on the harms of using a Public-Private Partnership (P3) model to build public infrastructure,” said Gallaway. “Alberta is decades behind on building more hospital capacity and beds. We shouldn’t be wasting time with talk of expensive privatization schemes or Public-Private Partnerships. We need to get to work building and staffing much needed public health care infrastructure.”

Friends of Medicare encourages those concerned about the Red Deer Hospital project to attend and ask questions at the government’s upcoming public information session on Thursday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at The Chalet, Westerner Park, 4847A 19 Street, Red Deer.


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