Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Leaches in Modern Medicine

My father is in hospital and I'm furious. Patientline gouges patients' families £0.49 per minute to speak to them on the phone. I pay less than that to talk to my sister in Australia. Patientline also supply TV. 16 channels of not-very-much for £3.50 a day. Thats around £100 a month! For around £60 you could rent a widescreen TV and Sky World Top Entertainment Package. How can they justify charging almost twice as much as that?

Patientline keeps all of this revenue under the terms of their PFI contract. The NHS sees not a penny. While Patientline is only one of many so-called Patient Power providers. Once an NHS Trust has signed a contract with Patientline, the patients themselves are offered a familiar PFI choice: Like it or, alternatively, lump it. The actual consumer does not have a choice of service provider.

This is how PFIs generate wealth and 'prosperity'. Seizing a captive market and milking it - steadily squeezing money from the pockets of the poor and needy and pumping it into the pockets of the wealthy. Of what benefit is this to either the citizen or the consumer?

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