Paying off the “NHS mortgage” is putting so much pressure on the system in England that the future of some hospitals is at risk, ministers say. The government said 22 trusts – running 60 units – are facing difficulties because of the cost of paying for privately-funded building projects.
The group represents nearly a fifth of the 100-plus PFI schemes in the NHS. Problems are being encountered because, for some trusts, repayments account for up to a fifth of their budget.
Areas to think about:
- Does this represent a fundamental problem with PFI funding, or is it a function of poor NHS management leading to poorly-framed contracts?
- How can PFI be implemented more effectively in the future?
- Should these at-risk hospitals be allowed to close in a managed fashion, and their management taken over by more financially successful NHS trusts?