Organ-selling firm in NHS talks

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A PRIVATE healthcare firm whose wealthy clients were given donor organs bought from children is in talks to run transplant operations for the NHS.

Department of Health officials have already had three meetings this year with representatives of the General Healthcare Group about taking over NHS work.

 But a subsidiary of the General ­Healthcare Group – Netcare – was last year fined nearly £700,000 after pleading guilty to illegally transplanting human organs inSouth Africa.

Health Minister Simon Burns confirmed in a Parliamentary answer that government officials met with the company – which also owns BMI Healthcare – on January 27, April 14 and June 6. They are understood to have discussed possible bids for NHS contracts, including organ ­transplant operations.

Netcare admitted last November that it had recruited children to donate kidneys which were then transplanted to wealthy clients. More than 100 illegal operations were carried out at a hospital inDurban,South Africa, between 2001 and 2003.

In a statement issued last November, the company said payments were “made to the donors for their kidneys, and that certain of the kidney donors were minors”. The statement added: “Certain employees participated in these illegalities, and (the hospital) wrongly benefited from the proceeds.”

The revelation will deepen fears over the Government’s NHS privatisation plans and comes after it emerged that a German firm had held secret talks with ministers on running 20 hospitals inEngland.

Labour MP Gareth Thomas said: “This case raises serious concerns about the future of the health service and David Cameron’s plans to allow a far greater number of unregulated private operators to run our health care.”

General Healthcare Group confirmed it was engaged in bidding for NHS work but added: “We are not able to disclose what bids we are currently working on for reasons of commercial confidentiality.”

The company said the organ-selling scandal had been dealt with “by the South African legal system and is now closed”.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “It is not unusual for the Department to hold meetings with external organisations. Before entering any formal agreement we would check to ensure that potential bidders are fit for purpose.”

The revelation comes as MPs today prepare to vote on the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

www.mirror.co.uk

Comments
  • Action_T4 September 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    This reads like a carry-on film, if it wasn’t so disturbing it would be laughable.
    I wonder if Netcare could possibly come up with some balls for IDS and caMORON?

  • Joe Kane on Facebook September 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Quality organs from the poor guarnateed, or your money back.
    Only one previous owner.

    This is an ideal way for poor people to pay their way through expensive higher education, and they will also be making a contribution to the health of the nation.

  • Paul Smith September 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Have our politicians no morals whatsoever? It appears they will not stop until they have decimated our NHS service, ended our Welfare system and destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people.

    How can our government even entertain such a company? Mind you our politicians have a record with dealing with corrupt companies? UNUM are just one of the high profile ones, I’m sure where going to see many more such collaborations in the very near future.

    Did anyone see IDS on the Andrew Marr BBC programme this morning? Still looking a smug bastard..

  • Andrew Marr still handling the scum with kid gloves. No mention of what’s been going on down at the Tribunals Service – just skimmed right over the issue – and let IDS off utterly. PATHETIC!

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