Campaign against NHS commercialisation12th February 2010
Doctors have stepped up their campaign against what they see as NHS commercialisation.
The British Medical Association has warned that the NHS in England cannot afford to keep using the private sector and has urged patients to sign up to its anti-private sector stance.
The "Look After Our NHS" campaign – which is against the NHS spending money on private firms - has been running since last year but until now has been aimed doctors.
However, the BMA has decided to broaden it out to gain support from the public and wants patients to back it at a time that the NHS is facing a spending squeeze.
BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: "As the public purse strings tighten, it is crucial that public money is no longer wasted on expensive commercial experiments."
The BMA says private finance initiative hospitals are expensive, private clinics are not seeing as many patients as they have been paid to and that GP-led health centres run by private firms are proving unproductive.
However, the King’s Fund has suggested that the private sector is now getting less business from the NHS.
Its chief economist Professor John Appleby said: “NHS trusts will have less money so they will be looking at what is best for the patient. That may still be the private sector.”
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Independent and third sector organisations were used successfully to get down waiting lists for operations and can make a contribution to this by helping to add capacity and increase patient choice."
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Title: Campaign against NHS commercialisation
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14039
Date Added: 12th Feb 2010