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Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Friday, 27 January 2012

Friday boss: 'We're not a bit like Southern Cross'


The Today programme Friday boss is Stephen Collier, CEO of General Healthcare Group, Britain's largest private healthcare company.

The hospitals and clinics he oversees treat over a million people a year. But the company was recently described as teetering on the brink - it is owned by a South African company and a private equity firm - with private health insurers, like BUPA, reducing what they are prepared to pay for treatment.

Mr Collier told the Today programme's Simon Jack that comparisons to the collapse of the healthcare provider Southern Cross were inaccurate because they were "100% reliant on local authority funding" whereas General Healthcare Group only gets 20% of their revenues from public funding.

On reforms to the NHS, he said that "there has been a progressive move towards the use of the independent sector" so he is "agnostic" about the changes.

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