‘Quick killing’ out of NHS

EASINGTON MP Grahame Morris has demanded government action to prevent private health firms making a “quick killing” out of the NHS.

The Labour MP and health select committee member urged ministers to ensure that private firms bidding for contracts are based in the UK.

“We cannot allow overseas contractors to exploit our cash-strapped health service in their scramble for quick and easy profits,” he said.

In recent weeks controversy has focused on Richard Branson’s Virgin Care which for over two years supplying podiatry and dermatology services, but which has branched out into running non-acute hospitals.

Mr Morris said: “The NHS is one of Britain’s proudest achievements. It is there to help people from every part of society, not to make a fast buck for overseas shareholders.”

Almost 50 MPs have backed his Commons motion protesting that the government’s “backdoor privatisation” of the NHS has so far delivered £7 billion in new contracts to private contractors.

He added: “There is a growing scandal that the procurement model that favours the private health sector over the NHS, and allows private companies to hide behind commercial confidentiality.”

He condemned the “revolving doors” practice where Government health advisers move to lucrative contracts in the private healthcare sector, especially at a time when the privatisation of the NHS is proceeding by stealth.

“That is deeply unfair with advantages being handed to private healthcare companies,” Mr Morris added.