Tuesday, October 25, 2005

PFI fraud *sigh*

Devil's Kitchen makes some good points regarding the below but it would be interesting to compare public/private pay differentials for similar jobs. My impression is that many lower paid jobs (cleaners, maintenance) are outsourced so these would skew the average private sector figures downwards.

His footnote, however, actually supports my argument:

There is now no A & E department in the centre of Edinburgh. The old site has been sold to developers who are building the usual load of flats, "affordable housing", shops and offices. Now, if I were them, I would also include a small A & E department, and charge people, let's say £20, to come in and be treated. In a taxi, it is going to cost rather more than that to get to the new ERI in Little France and little less to get to the Western General. There is a market for an A&E department in the town centre—especially on a Friday and Saturday night!—and I believe that it could also be a useful stop-in centre at other times too.

To fill in, the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was sold to the private sector for £12m then leased to the NHS, so the latter could make a quick buck. The hospital then became a 'prime piece of real estate' and was sold for SIXTY MILLION POUNDS! I'm told the new hospital, Little France, is tremendously clean and friendly place to be, but what good is that, as DK so rightly points out, when any benefit is literally and economically bled away getting there?

More interestingly, however, DK's comments bear testimony to his fine entrepreneurial spirit. Bravo!

[The above figures taken from this helpful article, however suspicious some of its conjectures. There's just no arguing with these Reds!]

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