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Scottish BMA attacks PFI hospitals


10 December, 2007  

The British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland has attacked the use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes to build NHS hospitals.

It claims the system means the health service cannot develop “high quality services for patients” in a cost-effective way.

The organisation made the criticisms in a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee, which is investigating issues surrounding the funding of capital projects.

The submission adds: BMA Scotland supports the Scottish Parliament finance committee in its review of the funding of capital investment projects in Scotland and would support a capital investment system in Scotland that enables the NHS and its staff to develop high quality services for patients in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

“BMA Scotland does not believe that the current PFI arrangements provide this.”

Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said the probe is a “useful starting point” in considering alternatives to PFI.

“The BMA does not support the diversion of public sector funds for core clinical services to the private sector whose priority is profit rather than the delivery of high quality patient care,” he said.

“The BMA is also interested to find out more about the SNP’s policy manifesto proposal to introduce a system of Scottish Future Trusts.”

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