The vultures are gathering to feed off the health crisis.
Britain’s private healthcare providers hope for a “coronavirus bounce” over the next four years driven by a potential £10 billion worth of contracts with the NHS.
More than 90 providers, including two of the biggest, Spire Healthcare and privately-owned Circle Healthcare, have signed up to the four-year deal with NHS England.
It starts in March and they are expecting big profits.
Shares of Spire have tripled since the start of the pandemic.
Charles Weston, an analyst at RBC Wealth Management, said that the coronavirus crisis “should drive more NHS work into the independent hospital sector”.
Last March, the NHS agreed to pay the operating costs of the private providers to help them survive the pandemic. This includes rent, interest payments and staffing.
The government has so far refused to reveal the cost of the deal.
The crisis in the NHS, and its inability to carry out many procedures, have also boosted private firms.
HCA healthcare said it was performing double the number of self-pay procedures in hip surgeries, cataracts and abdominal operations during the pandemic.
Free speech for —the right
A group of students who thought they had joined a group to defend free speech say they were censored if they weren’t right wing enough.
They say the Free Speech Youth Advisory Board is actually a front for right wing Tory Toby Young’s Free Speech Union (FSU) group.
Graduate Charlotte Nurnberg said, “The group started with quite diverse viewpoints. But very quickly that got shut down.”
The FSU appears to be particularly irked by “anti-racism” initiatives in workplaces and by people who fight for trans rights.
The FSU says it could support people who are “targeted by a digital outrage mob”.
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