Our government is encouraging poorer countries into debt by funding healthcare with Public Private Partnerships.
Jubilee Debt Campaign is challenging this.
Using PPPs for funding our own NHS has landed British hospitals and health trusts with unpayable debts and it’s siphoning taxpayers’ money into the pockets of investors and speculators. The UK Audit office claims that these schemes (called PFIs here) cost the public twice as much as if the government had borrowed the money directly.
Jubilee Debt Campaign has produced a report showing that the schemes have led to large windfalls for the companies involved in delivering public services but have led to declining standards and less accountability. Even top Tory ministers like Jeremy Hunt have been critical.
So why is government aid being used to promote similar schemes in countries already at risk of serious debt problems?
PPPs are supported by the World Bank and IMF because it’s an easy way to raise capital and they are attractive to poorer countries because the cost of borrowing does not appear on the national balance sheet, meaning it doesn’t appear to increase the government’s debt.
This is obviously very dangerous for countries on the brink of debt crises.
Public Private Partnerships are already responsible for 15-20% of infrastructure investment in developing countries. Source: World Bank.
We need to ask the Health Secretary to be open about the risks they provide to healthcare