Around £75 million of NHS services in Cornwall have been put out to tender, sparking fears they could be privatised, it has emerged.
NHS Kernow, the clinical commissioning group (CCG) for Cornwall and the Scilly Isles which buys health services on behalf of patients, has announced it is to put a series of "non-complex" procedures out to tender.
It will let the NHS and private firms battle it out to provide services including hernia repairs, endoscopies and lesion removal to reduce waiting times and ensure care is available equally across Cornwall.
While minor trauma care is included, NHS Kernow made clear emergencies including heart attacks, stroke and traffic accidents were not being taken away from Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT).
Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives, criticised the Government's NHS shake-up, claiming the controversial Health and Social Care Act "forces" local commissioners towards a competitive bidding process.
Mr George, who sits on the Health Select Committee of MPs, said: "I'm afraid this puts market dogma above patients' interests.
"Any company from anywhere in the world can bid for those bits of planned health procedures which they believe will make them the greatest profit.
"If this leaves a fragmented Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust with undermined services, it will also undermine its ability to respond to unplanned and emergency health needs."
He added: "NHS Kernow is doing an excellent job in its effort to reintegrate out of hours services following the mishandling of the Serco out of hours GP contract.
"The Government should be doing more to encourage commissioners like NHS Kernow to integrate health services in the patient's interest rather than to risk seeing them fragmented and salami sliced for the benefit of those companies seeking rich pickings from the NHS."
NHS Kernow said contracts are coming up for renewal and that the public sector does not have a monopoly on the services as it stands.
Joy Youart, NHS Kernow's managing director, said: "This is absolutely not about privatisation, this is about providing services for people closer to where they live.
"It is about working with our partners, including RCHT and other NHS providers, but we must begin the process to look at the provision of some non-complex elective care when some of the current contracts end on 2015.
"These services include outpatient attendances, follow-up appointments and a range of outpatient and day-case procedures including rheumatology.
"Some of the treatments we are looking at are already delivered by private providers at the Duchy Hospital and at the Bodmin and Probus treatment centres so people don't have to visit the acute hospital.
"Patients have told us that they want their services to be provided where they live, such as in GP surgeries and community hospitals. We have worked with doctors and other clinicians in our local providers, including RCHT, on these plans and they have also told us that there is a better way of providing these services."