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Centric Health gives a pass to Shouldice Hospital bid

November 2, 2012

Canadian Healthcare Network

TORONTO | The for-profit healthcare company that was poised to buy Shouldice Hospital in Ontario has announced that it has abandoned its plans due to the political climate in the province.

“We are disappointed not to move forward at this stage,” said executive chairman of Centric Health Corporation, Dr. Jack Shevel, in a press release about the expired $14-million deal.

“Shouldice has clearly demonstrated that the independent sector can play a meaningful role in delivering clinical services of high quality with excellent outcomes,” he continued.

Others in the province disagreed and flagged their concern that this purchase could set a precedent, and that allowing for-profit companies to purchase institutions that provide public services does not necessarily lead to more cost-efficient and quality care.

Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a Toronto-based member of the board of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, noted: “One reason why for-profit hospitals cost more is that they sometimes bend the rules to maximize their revenue. Sometimes they also skimp on care.”

The deal would have required the approval of Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews under the Private Hospitals Act of Ontario.

Ontario outlawed for-profit hospitals in 1973, but grandfathered existing facilities such as the Shouldice, which specializes in hernia operations.

Read article online here.

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