Monday, February 6, 2012

Taxpayer to bail out hospitals at 'severe risk' of failing: UK

More than 20 hospitals will get a £1.5 billion taxpayer bail-out because they are at "severe risk" of failing patients, the Department of Health said today.

Seven hospital trusts in areas such as London, Cumbria, Kent and Merseyside are struggling to pay back money borrowed for building costs under Labour’s controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Between them they run 21 hospitals, caring for hundreds of thousands of patients.

“Without the funding, the services provided at the hospitals will be put at severe risk,” the Department of Health said.

The bail-out is costing the equivalent of £60 for every household in the UK.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, warned last year that around 60 hospitals are “on the brink of financial collapse” due to money they owe under the PFI programme.

Yesterday, he said the bail-out was due to "historic problems" caused by the "legacy of debt" suffered by some hospitals under the PFI scheme. Read More