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— Philanthropic News —


Decision sets a serious precedent for foundations in the health sector


After receiving the green light from the regional health authority, the Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel launched a 2014-2015 campaign to raise the funds needed to equip Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel with a bronchoscope, a device used to diagnose lung diseases. The hospital then recruited a respirologist and carried out renovations to accommodate the new equipment, while its foundation solicited the general public and major donors in the region to raise the $231,000 needed to acquire the bronchoscope.


However, the MSSS is now refusing to authorize this vital purchase, despite the foundation having diligently followed all of the steps required. We believe this decision sets a dangerous precedent – one that could have an extremely negative impact on the funding of foundations in the health sector.


We understand that any new direction taken by the government can result in changes to operating plans and organizational structures. However, we feel that to retroactively renege on an authorization duly granted to a foundation breaks a social contract with health sector donors who have agreed to finance a particular piece of equipment. This in turn could hinder future contributions from many donors and erode the work done by foundations across the health and social services sector. Governments virtually never apply new taxation measures retroactively, because to do so would be outright unfair. Why is this situation different?


For these reasons and many more, BNP fully supports the actions of the Fondation de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel and the Association des Fondations d’établissements de santé du Québec (AFÉSAQ). We sincerely hope that the government will review its decision, honour its authorization for this hospital, and above all respect the actions taken by donors, who, through their philanthropic contributions, have underscored the importance of this medical resource for the region.