Health Corporation of America is typical of the many foreign corporations entering into the constructed UK health market after changing their names to distance themselves from the appalling reputations they gained in their countries of origin. Previously known as 'Columbia', HCA owns and runs about 200 hospitals in the USA, UK and Switzerland and is the largest for-profit health care corporation in the world.
In 2000 HCA pleaded guilty to substantial criminal conduct and paid out $840-million in fines.
In 2003 HCA was required to pay out $1.7-billion for defrauding the US government (with the help of accounting firm KPMG) and paying kickbacks to physicians. This was the largest case of health fraud in US history surpassing the previous top-spot held by 'Tenet Healthcare' (previously known as 'National Medical Enterprises'), which is another corporation making in-roads in the manufactured UK health market.
In 2013 the coalition government awarded HCA a contract for treating brain tumours, taking the contract from the NHS provided by University College Hospital (UCH). This is despite the fact that HCA were in the middle of a scandal about overcharging the NHS millions of pounds and despite their record of fraud in the USA. Patients from UCH were told to transfer to the private company as their treatment at UCH would no longer be funded.
The Mirror revealed that HCA was a Tory party donor, and had given £17-thousand since the 2010 election.