Who profits when private providers take over health services?

Last weekend tens of thousands of NHS staff, patients and campaigners marched to Westminster in protest against the underfunding of the NHS and the privatisation of many health services in England. The government may have pledged to invest another £20bn in the NHS over the next four years, but there are concerns that much of this could find its way into the hands of private companies. Addressing the crowds, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, called for an end to privatisation, the closure of the internal market and for staff to no longer be subcontracted to private companies, “the profits of which could and sometimes do, end up in tax havens around the world. I don’t pay my taxes for someone to rip off the public and squirrel the profits away,” he stated.

In the year to April 2017, £7.1bn worth of NHS clinical contracts were awarded through an NHS tendering process, according to a report by the NHS Support Federation. Since the Health and Social Care Act came into force in 2013, which stipulated that “any qualified” provider could bid for NHS contracts, spending on non-NHS providers has totalled around £25bn.

Full story in The Guardian, 4 July 2018

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