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article imageUK targets overseas expansion for state-funded hospitals

By Leo Reyes     Aug 21, 2012 in Health
The British health care system may soon be available in foreign countries with the setting up of a body called Healthcare U.K. to help hospitals organize overseas branches.
It appears the British government wants the hospitals to generate funds from their overseas operations by capitalizing on the British brand of healthcare.
The income or revenue that will be generated by the planned foreign hospital units or branches will be plowed back to government coffers in order to reduce the cost of health care in U.K. which is estimated at US $158 billion annually.
The model for the overseas hospital operation is similar to the system used by US healthcare institutions like the Johns Hopkins, which manages some hospital operations overseas.
Aside from the revenues it expects to generate, the plan would also create jobs for health workers, according to Health Minister Anne Milton in a report by Associated Press.
"This is good news for NHS patients, who will get better services at their local hospital as a result of the work the NHS is doing abroad and the extra investment that will generate," she said.
"The NHS has a world-class reputation, and this exciting development will make the most of that to deliver real benefits for both patients and taxpayers," the Health Minister said.
But the opposition Labour Party criticized Prime Minister David Cameron saying he should instead focus on patients and not on profits.
"Under David Cameron we're seeing a rampant commercialisation of the NHS. He needs to get a grip and start focusing on patients, not profits," shadow health minister Jamie Reed said.
It was reported the government has no plans of privatizing health care.
More about Hospitals, Healthcare, Great britain
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