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A new study published in the British Medical Journal confirms earlier research showing the British P3 hospital scheme means bed cuts and service cuts. The study of a private finance initiative (PFI) hospital in Lothian, Scotland, found the acute care facility “has not reached its targets for inpatient admissions and performance.” The result: there are fewer beds but no improvement in efficiencies which means less access to health care compared to other Scottish facilities. The first round of PFI hospitals resulted in 30 per cent bed cuts. The private hospital plan is based on the assumption that hospital stays will somehow be shortened. But in the Lothian hospital, stays fell by just 0.1 day, and stays after surgery lengthened. The hospital had more delayed discharges than the Scottish average. The study also found that projected increases in admissions were severely limited by the hospital’s reduced capacity. A projected 21 per cent overall increase in admissions only amounted to 0.3 per cent. An 8 per cent increase for some surgeries turned out to be a 13 per cent drop. The study concludes that further service and facility cuts might be needed to meet a huge deficit – one caused by the PFI plan. British researcher Allyson Pollock helped lead the study. Pollock has spoken out against Canadian P3 hospitals in BC and Ontario. She appears in a new video about the British PFI experience, produced by CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. To access the whole study, visit the British Medical Journal at www.bmj.com.