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PFI Service Charges (NHS)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 18th September 2013.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government how much the national health service pays each year in private finance initiative service charges. (S4O-02387)

Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

In 2012-13, the NHS in Scotland paid £215.1 million in unitary charges under private finance initiative/public-private partnership contracts. Of that, £86.6 million related to service charges and £128.5 million related to financing costs.

Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

Does the cabinet secretary share my concern about the figures and recognise that the money spent on servicing such disastrous contracts, which were agreed under a previous Government, would have been better spent on continuing to improve standards of patient care across the NHS in Scotland?

Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

I totally agree with the member. This is another legacy of 13 wasted years under the previous Labour Administration. Even the Tories have abandoned PFI as a way of funding such projects. In Lanarkshire—in the area that the member represents—Hairmyres hospital is probably the worst example of a complete rip-off of the public purse by PFI contractors, probably not just in Scotland but in the whole United Kingdom.

Photo of Jim Eadie Jim Eadie Scottish National Party

Does the cabinet secretary agree that the sale of Balfour Beatty Workplace to GDF Suez Energy Services must not have an adverse effect on patients and staff at the Royal infirmary of Edinburgh? Will he join me in seeking assurances from NHS Lothian that the employment and terms and conditions of the staff at the hospital who deliver the vital services involved will be protected?

Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

Absolutely. I am seeking such assurances and I also seek the assurance that the contractor will in no way hold the public purse or NHS Lothian to ransom in how it handles the situation.