Johnson criticises Tory plan to allow hospitals to borrow on commercial terms

Conservative plans to give hospitals unlimited scope to borrow money on commercial terms would risk unleashing billions of pounds of uncontrolled debt, according to the health secretary.

Alan Johnson (Photograph: JH Lancy)
Alan Johnson (Photograph: JH Lancy)

Alan Johnson said that even the Tories admitted this ‘will entail risks to the assets necessary for the provision of essential NHS services’.

Mr Johnson added: ‘David Cameron says he cares about the NHS but the danger is in the detail. His plan to let hospitals borrow from commercial lenders, secured against their own assets, puts essential NHS services at risk of repossession.

‘The Tories talk tough on controlling debt, but their own plans would risk unleashing billions of pounds of uncontrolled debt into the heart of the NHS, with nobody to step in if hospitals went bust.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Should hospitals be free to borrow on commercial terms?

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