New reforms could see private healthcare gain access to NHS data

5 December 2011

The NHS and private healthcare firms could be opened up to each other in a new partnership of data sharing to be announced by prime minister David Cameron.

In an upcoming speech regarding the healthcare reforms, Mr Cameron is expected to discuss his plans to encourage all in the healthcare industry to drive growth by working "hand-in-glove" with each other.

He is expected to suggest that the coalition's key strategy is to open the NHS up to new ideas of practice and treatment innovation.

According to reports, Mr Cameron will say: "Pressure on healthcare budgets in the west, emerging economies in the east, an ageing population, an explosion of knowledge - all creating a new paradigm for life sciences."

He will add that the "opening up" of the NHS will act as a magnet for innovations and service improvements.

A recent survey by the UK Faculty of Public Health found that nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of respondents in the healthcare sector disagreed with reforms suggesting that they will reduce efficiency and patient care.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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