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Departmental Health Insurance

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on private medical contractors in each of the last five years. (269272)

The vast majority of health care for service personnel is provided by the Defence Medical Services or the national health service. However, there will be times when it is necessary to employ private medical contractors, such as when a particular specialism is not readily available, or when it would be impractical to provide the service overseas using internal resources (for example, aspects of health care for personnel posted overseas to Germany and other smaller bases and detachments).

In practice, such private sector health provision is funded by a number of individual budgets across the MOD, including at local unit level within the single Services, and disproportionate effort would be required to provide the total Departmental spend.

However, we have been able to obtain a breakdown of costs from the MOD Central Budget and British Forces Germany which indicates the sums involved and services contracted. This information is provided in the following tables.

MOD central budget

Financial year

£

2004-05

4,702,662

2005-06

5,802,167

2006-07

4,892,840

2007-08

6,561,094

2008-09

4,731,393

These figures include contract costs for the provision of in-patient mental health provision, specialist prosthetic services, and civilian locums for operational deployments.

British Forces Germany

Financial year

£

2004-05

45,755,000

2005-06

43,790,000

2006-07

43,720,000

2007-08

45,450,000

2008-09

51,283,000

These figures include secondary health care contracts with German hospitals; non-contracted extra-contractual costs for specialist care; primary care contract costs with SSAFA Forces Help and Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (i.e. not all private contractor provided); non-contracted primary care costs; and costs related to Isolated Detachments in European Theatre.