NHS hospitals set to earn more from private work28th December 2011
NHS hospitals look set to be able to earn up to half their income from private work.
Under health service reforms, the amount of income generated from private patients will be allowed to rise from a few per cent up to 49%, according to The Times newspaper.
The news is likely to cause political friction with the Liberal Democrats fearing many in the party would oppose the approach while Labour said it showed the Conservatives were determined to mirror health care provision operated in the United States of America.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “This surprise move, sneaked out just before Christmas, is the clearest sign yet of David Cameron’s determination to turn our precious NHS into a US-style commercial system, where hospitals are more interested in profits than people.
“With NHS hospitals able to devote half their beds to private patients, people will begin to see how our hospitals will never be the same again if Cameron’s health bill gets through Parliament.”
However, health secretary Andrew Lansley insisted NHS reforms would benefit patients.
He said: “Lifting the private income cap for foundation hospitals will directly benefit NHS patients. If these hospitals earn additional income from private work that means there will be more money available to invest in NHS services.”
Details of the plan came amid concerns that there were too few GPs with the NHS Alliance saying that the NHS was producing too few GPs as opposed to specialists, with some family doctors having 9,000 patients on their books.
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Title: NHS hospitals set to earn more from private work
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 20669
Date Added: 28th Dec 2011