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U.K. Government to Hospitals: Make Money Overseas

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LONDON (AP) — The British government says it wants the country’s state-funded hospitals to help support themselves by setting up profit-making branches in other countries.  

The Conservative-led government is searching for ways to reform the National Health Service, which delivers free care to all but costs the equivalent of more than $158 billion a year to run.  

The government said Tuesday that it was setting up a body to help world-renowned institutions, such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, establish overseas branches.  

Health Minister Anne Milton says the plan would create jobs and revenue, which would be channeled back into the health service.  

Jamie Reed, health spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, says the government should “get a grip and start focusing on patients, not profits.”