Dáil debates

Wednesday, 27 September 2006


Public Private Partnerships.

2:30 pm

Photo of John GormleyJohn Gormley (Dublin South East, Green Party)

Does the Minister agree that leaving health care aside, our experience with public private partnerships has been far from rosy and the customer has not benefited? One needs only to consider the toll roads or the M50 and in my constituency, a public private partnership built a so-called state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant. These projects have not gone to plan and are costing the consumer far more than anticipated. Hence, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the idea that public private partnerships can work out cheaper is a myth. The indisputable evidence regarding this company is that it is a spin-off from Columbia/HCA, which was forced to sell some of its hospitals to pay its fraud bill. By 2003, Triad Hospital's parent company, if it can be so described, had paid the United States Department of Justice a total of $1.7 billion, a great deal of money.

Members have already heard references to other projects such as PPARs and I have raised the question of iSoft. We appear to have got off on the wrong foot from the outset. In light of this information, I ask the Minister to remain vigilant. I also ask her to respond to the initial point, namely, that our experience with public private partnerships has not been good.


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