The owner of German private healthcare group Helios, currently in talks to run NHS services, was fined $500m for kickbacks and fraudulent Medicare claims.
At the Independent Healthcare Forum on 7 September Health Minister Lord Howe told the assembled private healthcare executives that NHS reforms will create 'genuine opportunites' for the private sector to take over large sections of the NHS.
One of these private sector companies is German health group Helios, owned by the Fresenius group. In May Fresenius was fined $82m in the USA for overcharging for home dialysis supplies and equipment, having paid penalties of $500m in the 'largest ever' Medicare fraud 10 years earlier. Another division of Fresenius admitted to being involved in pharmaceutical price fixing in South Africa in 2005.
On the same day MPs voted in favour of the Health and Social Care Bill which will now have its second reading in the House of Lords in the week beginning 11 October. The involvement of the Peers marks an important step in the passage of the Bill and could be an opportunity to stop or alter the Bill's measures to break up and sell off parts of the NHS.