Patients going to private hospitals contracted to the NHS
Posted Dec 02 2008 2:50am
The monthly figure rose from 300 to over 3000 in the month of September. The trade off is individual rooms, free parking, lower rate of hospital infections and higher staff-to-patient ratios, but no drugs or implants not available on the NHS. What does this say for the NHS hospitals and will the move encourage more private hospitals to be added to the system.
Some facilities stand to lose revenue with patients that would have been seen at an NHS facility. The UK has had a high rate of hospital acquired infections over the last few years and the worry of exposure could also come in to play for patients making their decision on which facility they prefer. BD
Patients have the right to opt for any NHS hospital or private unit that can offer the care at NHS cost. In little over 12 months, the number opting for private hospitals has risen 10-fold to over 3,500 a month. Doctors said patients needed to think carefully as vital NHS money was being lost to private health providers.
Ministers also allowed private hospitals to be added into the mix where they could provide treatment at NHS cost. Australian firm Ramsay Healthcare, which has over 20 hospitals on the list, said the prospect of getting NHS money was one of the key reasons they bought their way into the English market a year ago.