Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital received almost £750k from private patients in the last two years
Private patients have injected almost three-quarters of a million pounds into one of the region’s hospitals over the past two years, new figures have revealed.
But West Suffolk Hospital bosses have denied that wealthier patients, who have paid for everything from cardiology to CT scans, have been allowed to jump the queue.
They added that all money had been pumped back into the NHS.
The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that over the last year £376,849 has been earned from privately-funded treatments and operations at the Hardwick Lane site in Bury St Edmunds.
The sum shows a slight increase on the £366,064 earned in 2011/2012.
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In both years the highest amount earned came through MRI treatments, bringing in a total of £296,718.
Earlier this year it was revealed how the hospital had also made more than £200,000 from “self-funding” patients.
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Under the system, which is available at many UK hospitals, patients who are not eligible for certain types of care can pay for a wide range of non-emergency treatments, from bone scans to the removal of urinary tract stones.
The treatment is described as self-funded rather than private, as the care provided is the same as on the NHS and is paid for by the individual rather than by insurance.
According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, 716 bills have been raised over the last three years, generating an income of £210,568.
A spokesman for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “We earn a small amount of income from treating private patients, which is then pumped back into providing care on the NHS.
“NHS patients will always take priority over those who are paying for their treatment.
“All private treatment is arranged outside of our standard clinics to ensure it does not affect patients receiving care on the NHS.”