Primary Care Trusts are the embodiment of the utter inefficiency and incompetence that New Labour represent, and Dr Rant has been covering in great detail one salient case study of how tax payer's cash is being frittered away in the pursuit of misguided ideology. Private is not always best, as public is not always best; the argument is clearly rather more complicated than this and revolves around the context in which the different sectors are used.
An ISTC (Independent Sector Treatment Centre) has been paid up front by a PCT (Primary Care Trust) for years of work that it will not be able to carry out, but the PCT is trying to level the playing field by bribing patients and GPs to send their patients there. This makes a complete mockery of the government's 'patient choice' agenda, it really should be renamed 'government choice' for the sake of accuracy. In fact PCTs are behaving in a rather Orwellian manner in trying to force work to the failing ISTC, this is taken from a letter sent by the PCT to a GP:
"I am however more concerned to hear your views and ideas concerning this facility, and would like the opportunity to visit with you and your clinical team."
The PCT would not for one second consider that its own actions were of great concern, even though it should, given the many millions it has squandered on wasteful schemes like this. So instead the PCT drones dogmatically try to convince everyone that their way is right, this is rather reminiscent of central government's behaviour; instead of learning from their large errors, they live on in a state of complete denial and refuse to acknowledge any culpability. It is no wonder that it takes the government a rather long time to learn from its errors, and this does somewhat stifle progress.