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How and why has the Private Sector become more involved in Public Health Care?

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  • Essay length: 1069 words
  • Submitted: 31/03/2006
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AS and A Level Healthcare

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How and why has the Private Sector become more involved in Public Health Care?

Labour plans to treat 100,000 more NHS patients each year in private hospitals, build more hospitals under the private finance initiative and extend public-private partnerships to provide more choice for patients in how and where they receive NHS treatment. Does this amount to total privatisation of public health care?

Labour insists that it does not want to privatise the NHS; merely use private hospital capacity in the UK and Europe (to ensure NHS patients are treated more quickly), bring in private sector expertise (to run treatment centres for high-volume routine operations such as cataract removal) and use commercial money and expertise to build and maintain new hospitals under the private finance initiative (PFI) or Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

For Labour, the important thing is not who provides the service to patients (it could be the private, public, or voluntary sector) but that the service is swifter and treatment is of equal or superior quality to the NHS, represents value for money and is paid for, free at the point of delivery, by the NHS, which is its principle duty.

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