Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ramsay Health Care

Ramsay is Australia’s largest private healthcare provider. It is part of the NHS Partners Network group of private health providers that challenged the procurement process at NHS Great Yarmouth & Waveney (along with Acevo).
Ramsay operates nine “Independent Sector Treatment Centres”, and is the fourth largest provider of private hospitals in England, having bought 22 small hospitals from Capio UK for £193m in 2007.
Ramsay’s managing director Pat Grier told the Guardian that his group had been attracted to Britain because of “significant growth upside due to the shift towards outsourcing NHS services to the private sector” (Guardian 28 October 2007).
More recently the company has been reported in Healthcare Europa as bragging over the way in which it has increased profit margins in the UK hospitals it took over from Capio, with Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) increased from 20% to more than 25% in the first year and again to over 30% in year two. (http://www.healthcareeuropa.com/articles/20100322)
Ramsay’s ISTCs may be generating guaranteed profits for the company, but the latest official figures show that they are delivering as little as 66% of contracted activity in one unit, with five out of nine delivering less than 80%. Of the total of £244m it is being paid for contracts, Ramsay’s ISTCs are being paid almost £56m for operations that are not delivered.
In Southampton the Ramsay-operated ISTC has been so unpopular that GPs have been directed to over-ride the principle of “patient choice” and refer elective patients only to the ISTC where services were running well below contracted levels, and not to the local University hospital where most patients had chosen to have their treatment (BMA News Review October 10 2009).