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Union welcomes PFI rethink

The union Unite has welcomed a possible rethink into Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes proposed following Lord Darzi’s Next Stage Review of the NHS.

The surgeon and health minister said the PFI funding system for hospitals ‘needs to be looked at’ in an interview.

PFI schemes have been widely criticised by unions and health commentators because of large payments made to private companies from the public purse to run them.

Unite National Officer for Health, Karen Reay said: ‘At long last, the government is beginning to realise that PFI is a flawed and expensive exercise that continues to consume billions of pounds in costly contracts for the enormous profit of private companies. This is money that could be better spent on frontline services for patients and clients.’

‘Lord Darzi comments are to be welcomed – there is a chink of light at the end of the tunnel.

‘However, when he talks about ‘better models for the future’, we hope he means that the PFI experiment is abandoned, and not that the whole sorry process should be accelerated. We shall be seeking clarification from government on this point.’

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