Hospital’s debt bill – Camden New Journal, Letters, 22/07/2011
IN 2002, Whittington Hospital signed a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. It cost around £30million. Using borrowed money, the hospital settled for an impressively spacious modern development of the somewhat rundown, busy and popular hospital. The price tag was not on show.
PFI funding has long been controversial because of its high cost.
How dire the Whittington’s present financial situation is I do not know. But a stark reminder of a major continuation of its financial problems was recently disclosed in the hospital’s response to a question asked by a member of Islington Pensioners? Forum. Using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 he elicited the information that the annual interest payment on its PFI debt for the financial year 2010-2011 was the staggering sum of £2,228,000.
Could not this money have been better used in patients’ interests? What NHS assets may it now be obliged to sell?
My conclusion: reject any PFI borrowing ‘solutions’ as appallingly wasteful and benefiting shareholders at taxpayers? expense.
Highbury Hill, N5