Property for St. Paul’s Redevelopment purchased in 2004 by intermediary

BC Health Coalition news release

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Vancouver Esperanza Society has ties to private surgical clinics

A parcel of land adjacent to Station Street in Vancouver was purchased for the redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital in 2004 by the Vancouver Esperanza Society (VES).

Research by the BC Health Coalition has revealed that VES, a non-profit group formed March 23, 2004, bought the land that month for the purpose of constructing a public health care facility*. On March 31, 2004, Providence Health Care signed a “right of first refusal to purchase**” agreement with the recently-formed society.

The redevelopment of St. Paul’s Hospital is part of Providence Health Care’s Legacy Project which states a preference for partnering with private sector investors. Hugh McGee and John Woodward, two of Esperanza’s three directors, have close ties to for-profit health care ventures in BC.

Hugh McGee holds directorships in the Cambie Surgeries Corporation, Canada Diagnostic Centres, and GWIL Industries Inc. Cambie Surgeries Corporation and Canada Diagnostic Centres run for-profit health care surgical and medical diagnostic facilities.

John Woodward’s brother is Kip Woodward who is a member of the Providence Health Care Board and a director of the Cambie Surgeries Corporation.

“Why has Providence made a pact with a cadre of high profile health care profiteers to purchase the land for the new St. Paul’s site?” asks Joyce Jones, co-chair of the BC Health Coalition.

“Who provided the money to purchase the new site and who is paying the mortgage? If Esperanza was formed to purchase land on behalf of Providence Health Care Society, why was that necessary?”

Alice Edge, co-chair of the BCHC says that Esperanza is required by law to provide financial statements to the public. “The health coalition has asked Esperanza for financial statements and they have not been provided. What’s the society trying to hide?

“Why are for-profit health care promoters involved in the purchase of the land for the St. Paul’s redevelopment? Upgrading St. Paul’s Hospital, a public health facility funded by BC taxpayers, isn’t meant to be a gold mine for health care profiteers,” adds Edge.

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For more information contact: Joyce Jones, co-chair; BC Health Coalition: 604-987-0168 or 604-786-7530 (cell) Alice Edge, co-chair; BC Health Coalition: 604-220-7294 (cell)

*For copies of Vancouver Esperanza Society Constitution, contact the BC Health Coalition at 604 681 7945. **For copies of the Option to Purchase and Right of First Refusal to Purchase Agreement, contact the BC Health Coalition at 604 681 7945.