The Government signed a record £780million contract with 11 companies last week, in order to help the NHS tackle the backlog of thousands of patients waiting for surgery and tests.
It has now been revealed that half of those private companies have links to the Tories.
The Mirror reports: The news was met by anger, not least because three of the 11 profit-driven firms had previously been slammed for providing poor quality of care.
And last night it emerged that at least half of the companies have close links to Tory politicians or the Tory party itself.
Critics predicted “the public will be totally sickened” by the revelation which they claimed exposed the “incestuous relationship” between the Tories and private health firms.
Dr Clive Peedell, a leading cancer doctor and co-leader of the National Health Action party, said: “I think the public will be totally sickened by this apparently incestuous relationship between the Tories and private healthcare companies.
“Not only are the Tories hell-bent on using private companies to take over NHS services and not only are they using private companies with a track record of patient failure. But now it looks like Tory donors are paying for access and influence and directly profiting from the privatisation of our NHS.”
Dr Peedell added: “No wonder the public is so turned off by politics when they see what appears to be influence being bought and politicians abusing their positions of trust.”
Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, whose party uncovered the links between some of the 11 private firms and the Tories, described it as “wrong on every level”.
He said: “It is only right that the close financial ties between the Tory Party and private health firms which have won contracts under this Government are revealed before people go to vote.
“David Cameron does not have the permission of a single voter to parcel up and sell off large chunks of the NHS. He forced his privatisation plan through Parliament without a mandate from the public and it is Tory donors and MPs that have been some of the biggest winners.
“Voters have a right to know the full extent of the relationship between the Tories and private health. When these privatisation plans were being drawn up in secret by Andrew Lansley before the 2010 election, his office was being bankrolled by a private health company. That stinks and is wrong on every level.”
Vanguard, one of the 11 firms to win the £780million deal, is majority owned by private equity firm MML Capital, whose founder and chief executive Rory Brooks has donated more than £300,000 to the Tory party, according to research by Labour.
Mr Brooks is also a member of David Cameron’s exclusive leaders group.