Private money sought to build Iqaluit hospital

Is privatized health care coming to Baffin?



The territorial government is trying to reach a deal with private-sector investors to build and own a new hospital in Iqaluit.

Ottawa agreed in 1987 to pay the GNWT $30 million for a new hospital in the Baffin region.

GNWT spent Iqaluit hospital money

But GNWT finance department officials have confirmed the government has already spent about $9 million of that on general government operations.

Now, the Department of Health and Social Services, led by minister Kelvin Ng, is trying to see if private interests might build the new hospital and lease it back to government.

In the territorial budget released on Monday, $100,000 was set aside for the Iqaluit hospital project. That money will be used to figure out the type of facility that is needed.

The government anticipates that the cost of replacing the hospital in future years will be about $44.5 million.

New investors?

Iqaluit MLA Ed Picco says he still hopes construction on the new hospital can start as early as 1998.

Picco also said this week that there may be more than one company willing to build and own the new hospital.

“There is another funding source that has come forward that may be more conducive to us in the Baffin,” Picco said. “We are working on other financing.”

Other investors interested in the project are based outside the Northwest Territories.

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