Medical Treatments Abroad

Health written question – answered on 3 February 2009.

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Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Labour, Holborn and St Pancras

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in respect of how many overseas organisations with contracts to provide services to NHS patients his Department has been informed that they have been indicted for defrauding taxpayers, patients or clinicians in their own country.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department is not aware of any overseas organisations that have contracts to provide services to national health service patients which have been indicted for defrauding taxpayers, patients or clinicians in their own country. This is because the Department does not centrally collect details of arrangements entered into by local NHS organisations with overseas organisations.

In terms of central procurements, while the Department's commercial directorate has contracted with the United Kingdom subsidiaries of a number of overseas health care organisations, it is not aware of any instances where these UK suppliers have been indicted for fraud.

In purchasing goods and services for the NHS, the Department is subject to all European Union (EU) public procurement regulations. The regulations require that as part of due diligence, all participating organisations must complete a pre-qualification questionnaire to ensure that they are suitable to play a role in the NHS. Under the EU procurement guidelines, public bodies are required to exclude a company that has been convicted of a criminal offence or grave professional misconduct in relation to the conduct of their business. The various offences leading to mandatory exclusion are listed in regulation 23 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The mandatory exclusion does not relate to parent companies.

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