Elite NHS foundation trusts are gearing up to lure private patients from home and abroad as health budgets are squeezed – a decision made possible after health secretary Andrew Lansley said he would abolish the cap limiting the proportion of total income hospitals can earn from the paying sick…
With a Â£20bn black hole opening up in NHS budgets, a group of top performing trusts are seeking to profit from paying patients and use the money to fund public healthcare in Britain.
Labour's cap had meant most hospitals were unable to generate more than 2% from private income.
"What's to stop US healthcare companies coming over here to poach patients. Or GPs sending patients to India for cheap operations? Or English hospitals raiding Scotland for sick people?" said Alan Maynard, professor of health economics at the University of York. "It could be a real mess."
How long will it be before the entire NHS, as it was known, goes down as a collapsed model? What exactly caused the collapse? (I was surprised to read that Labour had tripled the budget since 1997.) Will "the line" be that evil ideologues are dismantling a working system? How will greater competition for patients alter our assessments of various national health care systems? Is empowering doctors going to cut costs? How much loyalty will patients, and voters, show to the old NHS model?