A news story caught our eye this morning – this is the idea that the NHS should set up medical provision outside the UK as profit-making ventures that would help to finance the UK health service. The idea is not new. In 2007 the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London built a unit of the same name in Dubai, and Great Ormond Street Hospital also has operations overseas. Then 2010, the Labour government set up NHS Global to help the health service make the most of the global market for healthcare. However it seems likely that only hospitals, such as GOSH, are likely to be able to exploit this possibility due to their high profile and reputation for excellence.
The development is controversial for a number of reasons. Some are opposed on political grounds – that a public service should engage in private sector profit-making operations. Others are more concerned that resources and expertise will be taken from the UK and deployed in a risky venture overseas. Which are the same concerns that any business would have when developing its operations internationally (see chapter 17).