Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kingston Hospital - privatisation

The piece below is from the Wimbledon Guardian.

Yet again we are subjected to the lie that privatisation is more efficient that the public sector. This is utter rubbish - time and time again we see that the private sector is less efficient. At a international level, just look at the US to see what an absolute travesty the private sector brings to health care. They spend almost twice as much as the UK as a proportion of GDP but don't provide care for 40 million people. Cuba spends less than the UK's GDP proportion but has 5 times more doctors per head than us and has a fantastic health care record...


Hospital chief: privatization is the best way forward. Kingston Hospital's £1.6m plan for a private company to run its elective care is the only way to combat falling numbers of patients, according to the hospital's chief executive Carole Heatly. She said that turning to the private sector was the best way for the hospital to increase the quantity of its elective care - a necessary safeguard against losing its training status. If the 10-year deal is brokered, a private company will take control of the hospital's new surgical centre, day unit and eye unit. It would also be put in charge of the hospital's small private ward, Coombe Wing, which it might be able to extend, with profits shared between the hospital and the private company. The exact split of profits has not yet been finalised but Ms Heatly said the hospital's share would be re-invested in the NHS. It is also hoped that the company would expand the hospital's catchment area, making the most of the patient's power to choose a hospital, by marketing its services to GPs and potential patients. Staff would remain employed by the NHS for at least two years but they would be seconded to the private company, who would manage them. Ms Heatly said that, after two years, staff may be able to choose to be employed by the private company and that in similar set ups across the country, many staff had chosen this option. Nora Pearce, hospital midwife and Unison representative, said: "The hospital has always said its most valuable asset is the staff. Now what are they doing? Selling their most valuable commodity."

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