The argument for increased efficiancy has not been won as a massive survey for the Commonwealth fund showed. The survey, which looked at 20,000 patients in eleven industrialised countries found that the NHS was almost the least costly healthcare system, of them all and gave one of the best levels of access to care. Other countries not only spent more per head, but also charged patients directly. Only Switzerland reported faster access to care. In addition utlities privatisation, such as water, railways and gas have proven to be a financial disaster for the customer as well as the taxpayer through subsidy increase. Should public services remain pubic?
We feel that any MP who has a direct financial gain or donation from a company should not be able to vote on a bill that is a conflict of interest regardless of whether they have registered it in the members of interest register.
1. Andrew Lansley - John Nash, the chairman of Care UK, gave £21,000 to fund Andrew Lansley’s personal office in November 2009. In a recent interview, a senior director of the firm said that 96 per cent of Care UK’s business, which amounted to more than £400 million last year, came from the NHS. - Hedge fund boss John Nash is one of the major Conservative donors with close ties to the healthcare industry.
He and wife Caroline gave £203,500 to the party over the past five years.
The “hedgie” is also a founder of City firm Sovereign Capital, which runs a string of private healthcare firms. Fellow founder Ryan Robson is another major Tory donor who has given the party £252,429.45.
His donations included £50,000 to be a member of the party’s “Leader’s Group”, a secretive cash-for-access club. The would-be MP, who tried but failed to get selected as the election candidate in Bracknell, is managing partner at Sovereign Capital. - Daily Mirror
2. Andrew Lansley's wife, Sally Low, is founder and managing director of Low Associates ("We make the link between the public and private sectors"). A Daily Telegraph report in February records that the Low Associates website lists pharmaceuticals companies SmithKline Beecham, Unilever and P&G among its clients. It also records Ms Low's assertion that the company "does not work with any client who has interests in the health sector". The website currently contains no reference to the drug firms listed above. Channel4 news
3. Circle, the ambitious private healthcare firm run and owned by clinicians, has recruited a former aide to health secretary Andrew Lansley as head of communications. Christina Lineen spent two years working for Lansley, who became health secretary after the general election. The company’s income is derived from private patients, either on insurance schemes or paying for themselves, but it also treats NHS patients. - public affairs news
4. Nick de Bois, MP for Enfield North - De Bois is the majority shareholder in Rapier Design Group, an events management company heavily involved with the private medical and pharmaceutical industries, and whose clients include leading names such as AstraZeneca. The company was established by the Tory MP in 1998. Last year it had a turnover of £13m. Last April, Rapier Design purchased Hampton Medical Conferences to "strengthen the company's position in the medical sector". It is involved in running conferences and other events for private-sector clients, and for NHS hospitals. A number of the company's clients are "partners" of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), a lobby group supporting the health secretary's plans. Rapier Design Group's biggest clients stand to profit when the NHS is opened up to wider private-sector involvement. The GP commissioning consortium for south-west Kent, covering 49 GP practices and known as Salveo, has already signed a contract with the pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca aimed at improving diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Guardian
5. Patricia Hewitt, is a former director of Andersen Consulting (now Accenture - which has gained from PFI contracts - Former Labour Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has been an advisor to Cinven. Corporate Watch
6. Alan Milburn, then Health Secretary, was a consultant for Alliance Medical’s parent company. Alliance Medical runs diagnostic services for the NHS, including in Birmingham and Falkirk. UNISON reported that services were giving patients sub-optimal care, losing the NHS money because of below-capacity uptake, and pressurising hospitals into using private sector treatments - Corporate Watch
7. Lord Carter, the head of the increasingly influential Competition and Cooperation Panel, is an adviser to Warburg Pincus International Ltd, a private equity firm with significant investments in the healthcare industry. Chairman Patrick Carter, or Lord Carter of Coles to give him his full title, was the founder of Westminster Health Care, a leading private nursing home company. He is also the Chair of McKesson Information Solutions Ltd, which delivers IT to “virtually every NHS organisation”, the chair of Primary Group Ltd, a Bermudan based private equity company, and a substantial shareholder in, among other companies, B-Plan Information Systems Ltd, which has also benefited from the increased need for large scale IT systems that the introduction of an internal market to the NHS has brought with it (see the interview with Frank Wood, of King’s foundation trust, where B-Plan has worked, in the last news update). Carter’s register of interests in the House of Lords also lists him as an adviser to Warburg Pincus International Ltd, a private equity firm, which has significant investments in the healthcare industry. It even rescued United Healthcare from financial ruin in 1987 and helped it to become one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. He can now help it to become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s reforms. - Corporate Watch
8. David Heathcoat-Amory - MP for Wells and a former Treasury minister, registered a payment of "£1,671.08 and health benefit to the value of £86.17" in July from Western Provident Association, which provides private medical insurance policies.
The MP defended his work as a non-executive director for the firm, which pays him around £20,000 a year, saying: "The insight I receive from that helps me during health-related debates in Parliament and being part of the world of work and commerce helps me in scrutinising other parliamentary bills." - Daily Telegraph.
9. Mark Simmonds, a shadow health minister, accepted a trip to the United States to look at hospitals there from Bupa UK. Mr Simmonds missed out on a ministerial job in the government.
10. David Cameron - Nursing and care home tycoon Dolar Popat has given the Conservatives £209,000.
The Ugandan-born dad-of-three has amassed an estimated £42million fortune as founder and chief of TLC Group, which provides services for the elderly.
Mr Cameron made the businessman a peer shortly after entering No10 last May, and Lord Popat’s donations include a £25,000 gift registered a week after the Tories’ health reforms were unveiled last July. Daily Mirror.
10. Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, registered shares in Vital Imaging, a private screening company. Daily Mirror.
12. Stephen O’Brien Eddisbury MP - Stephen O’Brien’s office received three payments totalling £40,000 from Julian Schild. Mr Schild’s family made £184million in 2006 by selling hospital bed-makers Huntleigh Technology.
Mr O’Brien was moved to International Development after the election. Daily Mirror.
13. Lord McColl, is a paid consultant to a new private healthcare company that provides a fee-paying rival to the National Health Service’s family doctor service.
Endeavour Health, which was set up by two hedge fund advisers, claims to be Britain’s first comprehensive GP network, offering access to the best doctors and the opportunity to beat NHS queues and have appointments at any time they want. Endeavour Health was founded last year by two financial advisers, Briton Yadin Shemmer and American Jonathan Weiss, to compete with the NHS. Times online.
14. Mark Lloyd Davies - a French pharmaceutical company gave a job to this prospective Bristol South Tory - News of the World.
15. Simon Burns attended an oncology conference paid for by Aventis Pharma - a five-day trip to the US funded by a leading drug firm. Daily Mirror