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High-profile NHS hospitals in England
are to be encouraged by the government to set up profit-making branches abroad
to help fund services in the UK.

An agency will aim to link hospitals such as Great Ormond Street with foreign
governments that want access to British-run health services.

Investment would have to be drawn from hospitals’ private UK work, but with
profits ploughed back into the NHS.

A patients’ group said the move was a “distraction” at a time of “upheaval”.

The drive, building on an initiative first started under the Labour
government, is set to be be launched by the Department of Health and UK Trade
and Investment this autumn.

The BBC understands the initiative is unlikely to involve regular district or
general hospitals but would target world-renowned hospitals like the Royal
Marsden, Great Ormond Street and Guy’s and St Thomas’.

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