US healthcare industry sees NHS as “unopened oyster,” BMA conference toldBMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7478.1305 (Published 02 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1305
- Rebecca Coombes
The BMA is to tackle ministers over concerns that NHS reforms are creating conditions in which international companies—chiefly from the United States—can intervene and run areas of health care.
A conference this week to debate the NHS Improvement Plan, published in June, heard fears that the new “payment by results” financial system, whereby hospitals are paid per patient according to a fixed tariff, could see units close if they failed to compete on price with alternative provision in the private sector.
Many delegates said they were doubtful whether the changes were in the interest of patient choice, as the government claimed.
Barbara Wood, joint chair of the BMA's Patient Liaison Group, said patients did not necessarily want a choice …