In his response to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on private finance initiative (PFI) debt refinancing, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Consultants’ Committee, Dr Jonathan Fielden, said:
“This report confirms what the BMA has been saying for many years – that PFI is an expensive way of borrowing money, which stores up debts for the future and drains funds away from the NHS into the pockets of the private investors. We can see just how damaging this is as so many NHS trusts are currently crippled with debts and are struggling to meet PFI repayments. This is already directly affecting patient care.
“It is appalling that the government let these negotiations go ahead allowing the private sector to fleece the NHS. Such huge-scale financial projects should have been managed to get the best deals for the NHS, patients and for taxpayers. We warned the government that this would happen and they are reaping the consequences.
“The BMA will be urging the new cabinet to move away from wasting large sums of money in private sector deals, which have been shown to offer poor value. Private companies may have done very well out of them but the NHS and therefore patients have not.”