Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A warning from the English NHS

Figures released today by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that the NHS in England is facing a £63bn bill for PFI hospitals which are only worth £11bn. The figures also reveal that:

  • The first payments for hospital PFIs began in 1999 and the NHS still owes £58bn on 106 PFI contracts over the next three decades
  • The NHS will have to pay back £7.3bn in PFI payments over the next Parliament alone (2010-2015)
  • The most expensive PFI contract was for Wythenshawe Hospital where the NHS will pay back 16 times the original capital value

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb, said: “These figures reveal the disastrous reality of Labour’s stewardship of the NHS.

“We’re entering into one of the most difficult financial periods in the NHS’s history and this Government’s legacy will be a mountain of debt.

“Despite the enormous amounts of money we owe for these hospitals, many of them will never end up in public ownership. Hospitals all over the country are mortgaged to the hilt and there are serious concerns that these repayments will lead to cuts in vital services.

“We need a new approach to public services in this country. By setting up an infrastructure bank the Liberal Democrats will ensure that key projects get access to the funding they need to revitalise our economy.”

There is a warning for councils and other statutory bodies in Wales which are being pressured into adopting public-private partnerships (PPP) which are merely Labour's version of PFI.
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