Shrouded in Secrecy

Health Coalition Asks for RFP Details:

Secrecy Shrouds the For-Profit Hospital Planned for Kingston

Kingston: The Kingston Health Coalition has asked the government to make public the details of the Request for Proposal (RFP) given to the for-profit consortiums bidding on Kingston’s new hospital.

“Kingston residents have a right to know what public health services the government has asked the multinational consortiums to bid on,” stated Ross Sutherland, Chair of the Kingston Health Coalition. “How long are the proposed contracts?  What services are covered?  How is the management structure expected to operate?  What options for the use of the lands around the Lake Ontario Park are being tendered to the consortiums?  What has the government put out to tender for the new hospital?”

On January 11, the Kingston Health Coalition requested that Infrastructure Ontario (IO), the government agency responsible for contracting the new for-profit hospital, release the entire RFP for the proposed hospital to replace St. Mary’s Hospital and the Kingston Psychiatric Facility. 

“Infrastructure Ontario only released the most basic rules for the RFP and they did that on Dec. 20 when they knew no one would be paying attention” commented Sutherland. “They did not give us any specifics on the Kinston project and continue to shroud the new for-profit hospital in secrecy. “ 

·        The government committed to the Auditor General to release calculations that show a privatized hospital was more cost effective than a public hospital before proceeding with any new P3 projects.  They have not provided these figures for the Kingston hospital.

·        In October, Kingston City Council asked for a briefing on the costs associated with building a for-profit hospital instead of a public hospital. On Dec. 7 an Infrastructure Ontario Vice-President told Kingston City Council that he “believed” the for-profit approach would be “10..20…25 percent less than a public model.”  No concrete figures were given. 

“We estimate, using the Auditor’s Generals full audit of Brampton’s privatized hospital, that using the for-profit approach to build our new hospital will cost 100 million dollars more than a public approach,” said  Sutherland.  “It is also worth noting that the release of the RFP was two months behind schedule and finalizing the RFP is projected to be six months late.”

“The new hospital for Kingston is a very important project worth a lot of money and the government is keeping details of the project secret. This is one of the consequences of using for-profit companies to provide essential services.  We asking the government to be accountable and keep our hospitals public.”


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