Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.

An advertisement in a European Union publication embarrassed the British government, according to The Guardian Weekly. The ad invited bids for management contracts worth $132.4 billion that would privatize a large part of the National Health Service (NHS).

According to the article, the move would give private companies the authority to decide “which treatments and services are made available to patients, and whether they would be provided by NHS or private hospitals.”

Government ministers scrambled to dismiss the ads as “badly drafted” and “premature.” But a former health secretary condemned the ads, saying “if this is not privatization of the health service, I don’t know what is.”