London, Aug. 23: Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) plans for going into business with private Indian healthcare firms to provide cheaper treatment to patients has enraged domestic health campaigners.
The Mirror reports that more than 20 hospital trusts of London are planning to send NHS doctors to India to treat locals in a bid to raise cash for their hospitals, while low cost operations would be performed locally by Indian doctors.
Health campaigners have warned that it could lead to British patients being flown over for cheaper treatment, the report added.
Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt revealed that Indian sub-continent health market was emerging and was expected to be worth more than 100 billion pounds within five years.
Hewitt, also the chairwoman of the UK India Business Council, said that their ambition was to get as many NHS trusts, UK health companies and charities as possible to be established in India.
Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the BMA, blamed the NHS trusts to be involving in a huge scandal of earning money for the cash-strapped hospitals.
He further added that they will lose manpower, if their doctors and consultants are being sent to India, and it could pose a serious threat to patient safety in Britain.
Hewitt said there were several ailments, including a range of cardiac procedures, where Indian doctors could deliver similar or better clinical outcomes at substantially lower costs than the NHS.
A Department of Health spokesperson, meanwhile, clarified that NHS trusts had no intention to send patients to India for treatment, but they wanted Brits to support the health service to compete internationally. (ANI)