Private Health Firms and MPs Cash In on NHS Contracts

A collection of images of the last four Prime Ministers, Rishi Sunak, Lis Truss, Boris Johnson and Theresa May
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: May 17, 2023
4 minutes read

Over the past decade alone, private health firms have donated an excess of £800,000 to the Conservatives. According to openDemocracy, former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Theresa May were among other senior ministers who have benefitted from some of these funds.

After the government announced it would hand out more NHS contracts to private firms in an effort to reduce the backlog, these findings have come to light. Coincidentally, The Mirror has identified a number of MPs making money from these private health firms, effectively profiteering from the crisis in the NHS.

The British Medical Association has warned that relying on the private sector to clear the backlog would undermine the future sustainability of the NHS. After a decade of underinvestment, it’s a problem that has been created by the government, which they are now able to profit from.

In actuality, the £800,000 figure is likely to be even higher, as party donors do not need to declare their field of work. Not only this, but big donations from private healthcare companies aren’t included in this figure. Two of the main issues with the NHS outsourcing to private companies is that it causes higher mortality rates and outbreaks of MRSA.

Dr Ashraf Chohan is the founder of Conservative Friends of the NHS, a group of medical professionals who vote for the Tories but claim to support the NHS. Despite not having worked for the NHS for 23 years and having private healthcare, Chohan has set up a series of medical businesses that has donated almost £200,000 to the Conservatives since 2019. He was previously a Labour donor. The group has also backed private health insurance for all high taxpayers.

During the pandemic, Chohan was in trouble for two private companies that sold Covid tests for travellers. Complaints over poor service, lost samples and rejected refunds for £80-£200 PCR tests questioned the efficacy of a for-profit Covid testing regime that the government put in place.

Conservative donations from the private sector started becoming more apparent after the onset of the pandemic. Doctor Care Anywhere Group PLC has donated over £37,000 over the last couple of years. The company provides an app that charges up to £60 for a telephone call with a GP and they generated £25 million in revenue in 2021.

Advinia Health Care Limited runs 36 care homes across the UK and has donated £28,000 to the Conservative Party. Having recently raked in almost £96 million of public money, regulators started investigating the company over cash flow and financial management concerns. The Conservatives still continued to accept their donations, even after Advinia bosses refused an independent audit over its finances. The true owner of the company is still a mystery, as Paraman Trust Settlement is an unknown entity.

While there is no suggestion of wrongdoing from MPs over their ties to private health companies, it’s little surprise that these bosses are lining their pockets while being privy to exclusive government meetings. The Conservatives retaliated by pointing out the millions donated to Labour to vote against striking legislation. Labour indicated that long waiting times cause people to turn to private healthcare, which the Conservatives have exacerbated since coming to power 13 years ago.

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