Dozens of NHS operations are owned by foreign companies, raising fears of privatization through a backdoor.


Dozens of GP surgeries and medical centers serving more than a million patients are in the hands of overseas companies, it may come to light, amid fears that NHS money is disappearing into tax havens.

analysis by I from more than 90,000 properties owned by foreign companies, from car parks to luxury homes, shows that nearly 100 primary care buildings in the UK are held by private companies registered in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

The Kent operating deed was even registered with a company 4,000 miles away in the British Virgin Islands.

The findings have raised concerns about the privatization of the NHS “through a backdoor” and questions about whether healthcare bosses can pay millions of pounds in rent each year for businesses with little or no tax return that can be reinvested in patient care.

Documents show the Guernsey-based company made a £40m profit from its list leases in 2017, almost all of it from payments from the NHS and Irish doctors.

Labor lawmaker Margaret Greenwood, a former founding member of the campaign group Defend Our NHS, said: “It is a real concern that so many doctors’ offices and street health centers are owned by offshore companies.

“Clearly, decisions about the privatization of such a center would be based on a profit motive, rather than a commitment to public service and NHS values.”

Activists protested the US company’s takeover of GP’s operations last year. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

Dr Nick Mann, GP and member of Keep Our NHS Public, said the private sector’s takeover of NHS capital assets was part of the broader “privatization agenda” of NHS healthcare assets and services.

He said: “All GP hospitals and practices have been built or taken over by private sector organizations under PFI and other ‘lease’ arrangements.”

Earlier this month, a landmark judicial review was carried out over the decision to approve the acquisition of the London GP practice by US health insurance giant Centene Corporation after groups including Doctors in Unite, were set to raise tens of thousands of pounds to fund the case with public donations amid claims. of “stealth privatization”.

A Jersey-listed company has 20 medical practices and medical centers in its portfolio of titles, according to a Land Registry database viewed by I, in areas such as Sheffield, Littlehampton, Maidstone, Knottingley and Oldham. Titles for at least five operations are held by companies registered in St Peter Port, Guernsey. The other 11, including two in Doncaster and Hartlepool, are held by a company registered with offices near the coast in Jersey’s St Helier.

The Department of Health and Social Care says most GP practices are not owned by the NHS but are independent associations and while contracts to provide services may differ, there is no difference in eligibility criteria between UK-registered and overseas-registered companies.

Dr Dean Eggitt, executive facilities lead of the UK BMA GP committee, said the costs, bureaucracy and risks associated with the practice facilities were reasons new doctors were reluctant to become partners.

He said it was imperative that private landlords meet the same standards as general practitioners who own their own buildings and are expected to provide value for money.

“If the company that owns the practice building is in an overseas territory where they don’t pay taxes, the Treasury is missing out on vital revenue that should be used to support our public services, including funding for the NHS in times of crisis and to raise local GPs who are constantly thirsty. will be a much-needed investment.”


Sheila Vega

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