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PFI costs health service £45 billion

The cost to the NHS of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is £45 billion - enough to reverse all the present cuts and lay a secure basis for the future. The eventual repayments for 83 hospital building projects worth £8 billion would total £53 billion under PFI.   However, privatisation of the health service goes far beyond PFI projects. Every part of the NHS is being opened up to private contractors. The various forms of privatisation include:

Payment by results (PBR) - the financial system underpinning the new market model of healthcare.

Choose and Book - the facility for patients to choose the site of their secondary care from a limited “menu” of providers, including at least one non-NHS facility.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres. These are stand-alone private sector clinics specialising in a limited range of treatments, such as cataract operations or hip replacements.

Outsourcing the commissioning function of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).   In late June the Department of Health placed an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union  inviting companies to tender for all the management functions of PCTs.

Privatising GP services. The Alternative Provider of Medical Services contract is the vehicle being used to bring the private sector in to run GP services.

Unbundling of primary care services - primary care services are being broken up into saleable commodities in a process known as unbundling.

LIFT - the primary care version of PFI.  LIFT projects cost to eight times more than traditional ways of building.

Privatisation of NHS Logistics. This not for profit organisation has been outsourced to delivery firm DHL.

Privatisation of oxygen supplies and pathology services, increasing the use of private ambulance services and outsourcing medical secretaries abroad.

Connecting for Health. The NHS’s ill-fated IT programme has given corporations a huge slice of public money and 
unprecedented involvement in shaping the way the NHS will deliver care in future. Latest estimates suggest the cost to the taxpayer could reach £20 billion.


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