Privatised hospitals urged

Health service under stress: Bad management blamed for 25 per cent drop-out rate t
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The Independent Online
The Government is urging NHS trusts to allow private companies to run entire hospitals, fuelling Labour claims the Conservatives are hell bent on privatising the NHS, writes Rosie Waterhouse.

The Treasury is backing the Private Finance Initiative, originally presented as a way to encourage private firms to finance major infrastructure projects.

The Independent has obtained details of a private conference in London in September which reveal the Government is determined to extend the PFI throughout the health service.

Yesterday, Margaret Beckett, Labour's health spokeswoman, cited a brochure for the conference as evidence of a hidden agenda to privatise the NHS. She read out extracts saying the PFI "involves a complete culture change, creating entirely new markets and moving on from the idea that people providing public sector services must be directly employed by the public sector".