In the Herald today we find, as usual, the ‘urgent call’ comes from one Loyalist List politician:
‘Health chiefs are facing calls for an urgent (😊 ) inquiry after it was claimed NHS patients could be “leapfrogged” by private patients to help health boards make money. Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian and a former convener of the Health and Sport Committee, called on the Scottish Government to intervene, saying he feared health boards could be trying to “supplement” their income by supporting high volumes of private work.’
How much does NHS England pay to private companies?
How much does NHS Scotland pay to private companies?
‘NHS Scotland uses independent hospitals when it cannot provide the patient’s needs. NHS Scotland pays the companies to provide services when they otherwise cannot. A total of £72m was paid out to the firms in 2016/17, [a five-year low] a drop of £6.5m [ 5%] compared to the previous year.’
So, in 2016/17, NHS England spent £9 billion with private companies, up from around £8 billion the previous year. In the same year, NHS Scotland spent £72 million with private companies, down from £78.5 million.
England has, conveniently, 10 times the population. So, you all things being equal, you might expect it to spend 10 times as much as NHS Scotland on private companies, or £720 million. In fact, NHS England spent 12 times, per capita as much on private companies.