Socialist Worker

Tories forced to bail out hospitals because of cuts and privatisation

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2470

The Department of Health was forced to spend £1.2 billion in 2014/15 bailing out NHS providers facing financial meltdown, as hospitals reeled from cuts and privatisation.

More than 50 NHS providers, including around a third of acute health care trusts, required bailouts, according to the new Health Service Journal research.

The 12 worst hit NHS trusts’ bailouts were more than 10 percent of their annual income, with three getting over £50 million.  Barts Health NHS Trust in east London topped the latest list with over £100 million.

NHS trusts are in financial meltdown – and it’s hitting patient care hard.

Health watchdog Monitor has warned hospital bosses to fill vacancies “only where essential”, claiming their financial plans are “quite simply unaffordable”. The crisis-stricken Barts Health has 1,200 unfilled nursing and midwife posts.

Nearly one third of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are considering or already “rationing” health services. The Tories brought in CCGs as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to “commission” care for GP patients.

NHS England bosses axed key cancer drugs from the approved list last Friday, because of cuts to the Cancer Drugs Fund.

David Cameron set up the fund in 2011 so patients wouldn’t be denied drugs on cost grounds, but more than 5,500 patients will now be denied access to the life-extending drugs,

This shows up the Tories’ health lies, but the large pharmaceutical corporations are holding the NHS to ransom.

For instance, axed cancer drug Kadcyla costs £90,000 annually per patient because Swiss manufacturer Roche is determined to keep its profits up. Roche posted a “core operating profit” of £17.6 billion in 2014.

Tory cuts and privatisation have caused the NHS crisis, but many trusts are also saddled with rocketing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) debt.

This shows up the irrationality of the market running health services. 


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