GPs offered help with equipment

Siemens, the German indus-trial group known for its mobile phones, has launched a practice finance service aimed at GPs.

Siemens Financial Services will lease out expensive medical equipment, such as MRI scanners and ultrasound machines. It says this will allow GPs to expand their practices, and increase their income, without owning rapidly depreciating technology.

'GPs are capital constrained, but from a business perspective have to have the right assets,' said David Martin, the company's general manager.

'We want to work with them to help them access the latest technology.'

The service is a radical shift for Siemens, whose healthcare finance service has previously focused on acute trusts.

The plan has received mixed reviews from clinicians.

Dr James Kingsland, chairman of the National Association of Primary Care, said: 'It would have to be an incredibly good deal.'

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