British government more than happy to allow Serco et al into the tent?

What are good friends for?

Legal loopholes in the Health and Social Care Bill could leave health services open to exploitation by profiteering outsiders [such as Serco], and to misinterpretation by politicians and interest groups keen to capitalise on its uncertainties, according to independent policy experts.

The Bill is permissive, not prescriptive, allowing a variety of interpretations to be put upon it by critics and supporters – as well as those keen to profit from the opportunities – said Nick Goodwin, a senior fellow at the King’s Fund health policy think-tank.

There is nothing in the legislation that allows GPs to charge for NHS services, as Labour claims, but GPs are already permitted to charge for items outside their NHS duties – such as providing insurance medicals and travel vaccinations – and these might be extended.

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