NHS patients could be sent to India to be treated it was warned last night, as it was revealed up to 20 UK trusts were planning to set up clinics abroad to make money for the health service.
Patricia Hewitt, the former health secretary, said trusts were already in talks about going into business with healthcare providers in India, using the expertise in the NHS to open up profitable businesses abroad, where health services are in demand.
She said she hoped the lucrative contracts could close the NHS’ funding gap.
But Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, said he thought the NHS should not be going into business with companies in India, and feared the contracts could end up going a stage further.
He told the Daily Mirror: “If trusts do not have enough money to treat patients in Britain, they should be getting help from the Government. I am extremely concerned that the next step will be patients being flown to India for treatment because these trusts think that it could save them money.”
Dr Chand also said he was concerned sending doctors abroad could put patients at risk, by taking away staff from the NHS.
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45