Superhospitals will use private deals
Officials building the two superhospital projects are committed to public-private partnerships, despite warnings from health officials in Britain, where some hospital construction projects involving the private sector ran into problems.
The Quebec government wants to team up with the private sector to help finance and build the two billion-dollar superhospitals in Montreal.
In Britain, such partnerships have been in play for decades, and while the British government stands by the public-private partnerships, or PPPs, it admits there have been problems.
The country's largest health-care workers union goes even further.
"It's been a disaster on every level," says Margie Jaffe of UNISON. "It's like buying [a hospital] on a credit card. You're paying much higher rates of interest."
Last fall, officials from the McGill University Health Centre travelled to the U.K. to meet with Britian's National Health Service.
They were warned that with PPPs, costs can spiral out of control, especially for projects that cost more than $1 billion, such as the superhospitals.
"It's not all bad, it's some good, but there's enough to learn from that we should try to emulate the good and discard the bad," says Arthur Porter, head of the MUHC, who attended the information meetings.
Porter says he is convinced that by tweaking the formula, a public-private partnership can still be the best way to build the MUHC superhospital.
The government has yet to announce specific details on how the projects will be funded.