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​#GPnews: NHS 'desperate' to seek loans from hedge funds, doctors say

16:15 Scotland will become the first country in the UK to routinely fund HIV preventative drug Truvada, pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep), to eligible patients, reports the BBC.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium expects around 1,900 patients could benefit from the £450-per-month drug.

NHS England can fund Prep, it was ruled last year, but can still choose not to.

13:50 Doctor leaders have called the NHS's bid to borrow money from hedge funds 'desperate', reports the Independent.

Dr Mark Porter, BMA chair, said the move 'shows how desperately the health service needs more funding'.

National Health Action Party co-founder and consultant clinical oncologist Dr Clive Peedell said: 'How can it be cheaper to borrow from hedge funds rather than fund directly from Treasury? NHS finances are desperate.'

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the fact NHS bosses were having talks with hedge funds was 'shocking', adding: 'Theresa May has refused to respond to the needs of crumbling hospitals, ageing equipment or provide the necessary investment in community facilities.'

Click here for the full story on NHS Improvement's plans

11:30 The number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks for surgery will double by 2020, reports the Telegraph.

Analysis by the NHS Partners Network found more than 800,000 patients will experience waits that breach targets in three years' time, up from 360,000 today.

The organisation, which represents independent providers of NHS care, advised patients to be more 'sharp elbowed' when seeking treatment, including requesting surgery at private hospitals paid for by the NHS.

09:45 NHS bosses are seeking Government sign-off to borrow money in the private sector in order to finance services, reports the Times.

According to the paper, NHS Improvement chief Jim Mackey is to meet with the Treasury today to urge them to sign off plans so they can set up 'a central NHS infrastructure fund to which local services can apply'.

It says this comes as the NHS has 'reached the outline of an agreement' with 'one or two hedge funds, as well as other investment companies', for which it requires Treasury approval to go ahead.

According to the Times, the money could be used to 'beef up' GP care, for example.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Effectively this is as bad as PFI. It will further transfer parts of the NHS to private ownership on the basis of a secured loan. Hedge funds are not going to lend on an unsecured loan. Why would NHS 'bodies' want to do this at a time when there is no chance of creating savings/profit to pay the interest, let alone the capital sum back.

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  • So Bankers will borrow money at zero percent from government money printing (stealing from savers and those who earn money through work) to invest in a hedge fund who will loan the money to the NHS at a much higher rate with full government backing to this 'risk'!
    You couldn't make it up.

    Classic NHS

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  • This is selling off a public service so that only a few 'in the know' will gain financially.

    "But keep in mind that the typical minimum hedge fund investment is between $500,000 and $1 million. Most of the big successful funds have a much higher minimum initial investment. Managers are legally allowed to accept investments from up to 35 people who aren't accredited investors.15 Jul 2000"

    So how do we know which hedge funds will gain and where is the advertisement allowing people to purchase shares. At least in Thatcher's day she made sure that all people could buy shares in whatever new company was being formed from the sell-off of public services.

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  • The extra debt that is being forced on the NHS by senior NHS managers / Government along with defunding and increased patient need / demand will result in the bankruptcy of the NHS.

    The hedge funds, which by then will probably own the majority of the NHS, having been given almost free money, as per Sax's comment above, will bring in copayment further increasing their profit. Meanwhile we will be forced to work even harder for less income with no autonomy.

    Does this really surprise anyone?

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