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Competition in healthcare can help to save lives, study concludes

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4898 (Published 01 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4898
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Competition among hospitals in England led to a 7% fall in the number of deaths from acute myocardial infarction over three years, saving around 900 lives, a new study claims.

However, academics and experts on health policy have questioned the interpretation of the study, which was published on 27 July in the Economic Journal (2011;121:F228-60, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02449.x), the journal of the Royal Economic Society.

Using data from hospital episodes statistics on more than 430 000 patients who had a myocardial infarction between 2002 and 2008, researchers from the London School of Economics looked at English hospitals before and after competition was introduced into the …

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