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NHS brand encouraged to go global

NHS brand encouraged to go global


NHS hospitals are to be encouraged to establish new profit-making ‘centres of excellence’ overseas.

Building on the ‘NHS Global’ initiative set up by the then Labour Government in 2010, an agency is reportedly due to be set up to facilitate communication between hospitals and governments abroad who are interested in accessing their services.

The project is expected to be launched by the Department of Health and UK Trade and Investment this autumn.

"This is good news for NHS patients who will get better services at their local hospital as a result of the work the NHS is doing abroad and the extra investment that will generate,” said Health Minister Anne Milton.

"This is also good news for the economy, which will benefit from the extra jobs and revenue created by our highly successful life sciences industries as they trade more across the globe.

"The NHS has a world-class reputation, and this exciting development will make the most of that to deliver real benefits for both patients and taxpayers.”

However, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told the Financial Times his party will be watching the programme “very carefully” as it feels like it is “about getting foreign patients into British beds to boost companies’ profits”.

“NHS Global was almost an international development project helping developing nations create more effective models,” he said.

“The focus is being skewed completely on to the commercialisation of the NHS.”

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said: “We will have to watch this very carefully because it feels like it is about getting foreign patients into British beds to boost companies’ profits.”

Andrew Hine, UK head of healthcare at KPMG, said British people should be “proud” of the international interest in the NHS and as such should welcome the opportunity to “showcase our capabilities on the international stage”. 

"The NHS has proven time and again that it can deliver,” he said.

“It should be given the chance to do so once again through this initiative because, with the income that can potentially be generated, Britain will cement its place on the world healthcare map and UK patients will benefit as funds are boosted to enhance healthcare on the domestic front.”

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