The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has received yet more criticism for its sourcing policies, which critics sometimes see as privatisation by the back door.
A report in the Financial Times – for which registration is required, so here’s a link to the Independent’s coverage instead – suggests that £901m of the cash reserved by the previous chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne for front line services has made its way into the coffers of private contractors.
The source of the information is the Health Foundation, and the suggestion is that it ends up plugging the gaps in health provision rather than in innovation or services that actually make sense in the private sector.
You might argue that bridging the gaps the NHS itself can’t plug is actually sensible use of NHS budget; however, many critics believe this is poor use of resources. It’s also worth mentioning that in the UK our National Health provision is something of an article of faith – many Brits regard it as something that defines us as a nation.
The debate is likely to continue for some time.