David Rowland: Investors are making a fortune from UK healthcare.

David Rowland on the presence of private equity in the UK health and care market

If you are in a vulnerable situation in the UK because of your age, personal circumstances, violent crime or ill health, there is a strong chance that somebody somewhere – most likely an offshore private equity investor – will be making a profit out of your health and care.

In the case of older people needing care towards the end of their life, companies backed by private equity funds have been generating significant returns for decades. Our research at the Centre for Health and the Public Interest shows that around £1.5bn is taken out of the care home sector each year in the form of different types of returns to shareholders and investors.

Even during the pandemic, when the care home sector witnessed more than 40,000 Covid-related deaths and was propped up by £2bn of taxpayer support, a number of private care home companies continued their focus on profit-making, with 122 of them paying out dividend payments totalling £120m during the first year of the pandemic (an increase of 11% on the previous year) – all this while many of the staff in those homes worked longer hours and received no extra pay.

Full article in The Guardian, 13 March 2024

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