Commenting on Number 10’s refusal to answer questions about the £63bn PFI (Public Finance Initiative) bill facing the NHS, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb, said: “Labour’s scandalous mismanagement of the NHS has left many hospitals facing PFI bills they simply cannot afford.
“Gordon Brown’s speech contains even more spending commitments but he has yet to explain how on earth he intends to pay for the damage he’s already done to the future of the NHS.
“Despite the enormous amounts of money we owe for these hospitals, many of them will never end up in public ownership. Hospitals all over the country are mortgaged to the hilt and there are serious concerns that these repayments will lead to cuts in vital services.
“We need a new approach to public services in this country. By setting up an infrastructure bank the Liberal Democrats will ensure that key projects get access to the funding they need to revitalise our economy.
“The Liberal Democrats will change the way the NHS works so that money goes further and patients come first.”
Figures released yesterday by the Liberal Democrats have revealed that the NHS is facing a £63bn bill for PFI hospitals which are only worth £11bn. The figures also reveal that:
· The first payments for hospital PFIs began in 1999 and the NHS still owes £58bn on 106 PFI contracts over the next three decades
· The NHS will have to pay back £7.3bn in PFI payments over the next Parliament alone (2010-2015)
· The most expensive PFI contract was for Wythenshawe Hospital where the NHS will pay back 16 times the original capital value