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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2010

Private 'vultures' to run NHS hospital

PRIVATE 'VULTURE' companies are licking their lips at the prospect of taking over and running a NHS hospital for the first time. The prize will go to one of five private bidders in October after Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust withdrew from the bidding process to operate Hitchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon - which has 'debts' of £40 million - as a franchise.

Many trusts accumulated deficits due to successive Tory and Labour governments' market oriented policies. Years of chronic under-investment, plus high Private Finance Initiative charges, have pushed many trusts toward bankruptcy.

Under the Hitchingbrooke deal, the NHS will retain the hospital's assets but the workers will be transferred to the new owners. In a labour-intensive service like the NHS, cuts in the payroll will inevitably follow privatisation.

The successful bidder will run the hospital, with a £92 million annual turnover, on a seven to ten year contract.

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In The Socialist 24 February 2010:

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