In the Guardian on September 4th George Monbiot gave a classic
example of PFI madness. In Coventry officials wanted to refurbish its
two hospitals.This would have cost £30m. They didn’t have £30m, so they had to go for PFI.
consortium couldn’t be bothered to refurbish (not enough money in it)
so the health authority devised a plan to knock the two hospitals down
and build a new one – for £174m. George continues, "Did I say £174m? I
beg your pardon. By January 2002 the price had risen to to £290m. A
month later it reached £311m. By the end of that year it was estimated
at £370m. In March 2007, the Birmingham Post reported that the final
cost was £410m. This year the hospital trust must find £56m, covering
repayments and service fees, to hand to the private consortium. The
annual cost will rise in line with the retail price index for 30
years…Over the past few days the hospital trust has announced a £30m
hole in its budget. Around £10m of the necessary cuts could be found by
making staff redundant: it will lose 200 people, perhaps 375."
£410m to save £30m! Pay £56m a year and rising to save £30m! This is
where the money pouring in to the health service is really going.