1 April 2011
A government minister has spoken of the need for the NHS to improve cost-effectiveness in the use of high-tech machinery, following a damning report on spending.
Public health watchdog the National Audit Office found that the health service is not getting value for money out of equipment such as MRI and CT scanners, with some left idle for long periods of time, which costs money. The report also found that the UK has significantly less of these machines than poorer countries such as Estonia and Turkey.
Responding to the news, MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the public accounts committee, said: "At a time when the NHS is undergoing radical reform and has the additional challenge of making billions in savings, it is even more important that it focuses on getting the best value for money from all of its assets."
The Telegraph recently reported that the £20 billion worth of NHS cuts could see more than 50,000 redundancies on the front line and in the back room.
These cuts will also mean there is little spare money available for new equipment, despite the fact that many of the high-tech machines currently being used will need replacing within the next five years.
By Jeanette Royston
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