Friday, February 19, 2010

British Hospital Going Private

(UK) Here is a surprising report about a hospital in England, home of the much-heralded socialized health care system. It appears the National Health Service (NHS), for the first time, will be turning a big district hospital over to the private sector.
A debt-ridden NHS hospital is to be taken over and run by a private company in what will be a groundbreaking departure for healthcare provision in England. [my bold]

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, a district general hospital in Cambridgeshire, will be run by one of five private sector organisations from next year, after the withdrawal of the only NHS organisation bidding for the contract.

Stephen Dunn, director of strategy for the East of England health authority, told The Times that no other bids were being considered for the next stage of the vetting process. He said that the decision should not be regarded as controversial, given the pressures on the NHS, and would set an important precedent for the future financing and development of high-quality health services. He said that several other health authorities had approached him for information about how East of England was running the selection process.
Selected from five possible candidates, the successful bidder on the seven-to-ten-year contract will be announced in October. Interestingly, an NHS trust pulled out of the bidding, indicating it would cost time and money and they had better things to do with their time.

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