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Centric Health abandons bid to buy Toronto’s private Shouldice Clinic

Shouldice Hospital in Thornhill, Ont., is being sold to Centric Health Corp., a TSX-listed company that owns surgical and medical centres in four provinces, as well as pharmacies and home-care services.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A large health-care company says it's not going to proceed with a contentious purchase of a private Ontario clinic.

Centric Health Corp. says its offer to buy Toronto's Shouldice Hospital has expired and both parties have decided not to continue with the proposed transaction.

The $14-million deal required the approval of Health Minister Deb Matthews under the Private Hospitals Act of Ontario.

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Centric says the decision was made given the "recent political developments in Ontario" and uncertainty regarding timing.

Shouldice is one of the few private, for-profit medical centres in the province and receives government funding.

Critics had called on Ms. Matthews to block the deal, saying it could have major repercussions for medicare in Ontario.

Ontario outlawed for-profit hospitals in 1973, but exempted existing facilities like the Shouldice, which specializes in hernia operations.

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