Health secretary pulls out of meeting with private healthcare bosses

Private hospital bosses and doctors’ representatives were denied the chance to grill Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid after he pulled out of a scheduled meeting at the Royal College of Physicians in London.

The get-together arranged by the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) would have given them the chance to air their views on a range of topics affecting the private healthcare sector.

But Mr Javid cancelled the appointment, run as a private social networking event, blaming ‘Parliamentary’ business.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in his speech that the private healthcare sector was central to recovering NHS services in the years to come

He had been due to make a ‘short speech’, but was able instead to address the audience through a video recording in which he praised the work of private hospitals and doctors during the pandemic.

IHPN chief executive David Hare told Independent Practitioner Today it was heartening to hear how critical the minister felt the independent sector had been in helping the NHS to deal with Covid-19. 

He said: ‘In particular, his recognition of the number of NHS-funded elective procedures delivered by the sector while under national contract was important, as was his clear view that the sector will be central to recovering NHS services in the years to come.

‘Clearly, serving the growing number of patients choosing to pay privately for their treatment will be a major priority for the sector over the months and years ahead. But the independent sector remains committed to supporting the NHS and we welcome that shared commitment expressed by the Health Secretary to industry leaders.’