Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jon Williams on "NHS Privatisation - PFI failures open the door for Private Companies"

The NHS bankrupt headlines should be "the Great Big NHS Sell Off". Friendly administrators will ask private companies to operate Trusts that have been saddled with extortionate interest payments.  "Slash and burn" policies will be employed to sack staff and sell buildings. It is an all too familiar story when the utilities were sold cheaply in Thatcher’s era now operating as privatised monopolies charging above inflation prices with poor service and no structural investment. All UK tax payers have invested in the NHS since its inception only now our money will be siphoned off to pay dividends to a minority. See here.

"The trust which runs Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley is likely to face cuts to services and jobs in an attempt to reduce costs."

"Earlier this year the private healthcare group Circle took over Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire which had historic debts of more that £40 million. Circle says it is confident that it can turn the trust around and is known to be keen to take on other NHS operations."


Tory cuts are forcing Trusts to call in administrators - who will sell off OUR NHS to private companies e.g. Circle Health.  Our tax money has been invested in the NHS only for private companies to get bargain basement deals once in administration. It is shameful Labour continued to expand PFI contracts when in Government. Let's hope Labour calls for an investigation for all hospitals that are sold. See here.

" But he might well be surprised to hear that some NHS trusts are paying £60m a year on loans for buildings that are much, much bigger than they're worth."

 "He might wonder how organisations that were funded by the public purse, in a healthcare system a government had promised not to cut, could go bankrupt. He might think "bankrupt" was the kind of word you used about a business, and that treating people who were very ill, and couldn't pay for it, except through their taxes, wasn't usually the kind of thing that made a profit."

"He might, for example, be surprised to hear that buildings worth £11.4bn will (if you include some costs for cleaning and maintenance) cost the taxpayer £70bn. He might be a little bit shocked to hear that the taxpayer sometimes pays contractors £75 for an air freshener, and £466 to change a light fitting and £15,000 to hang a door."

"He might not be so surprised to discover that the scheme was originally introduced by a Tory government, but he might well be surprised to hear that it continued under a Labour one, and that most of the contracts that were threatening to bankrupt these trusts were signed with that Labour government's blessing."

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