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Competition Commission considers investigating private health market

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d8066 (Published 12 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8066
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is minded to refer the private healthcare market in the United Kingdom to the Competition Commission.

A final decision will be made after an eight week consultation to give interested parties a chance to make representations if they disagree with the referral. One private provider, Nuffield Health, has already backed the OFT, saying that it fully supports its decision and that it is in the interests of the patients who use private healthcare and the industry itself.

The OFT began its investigation in March this year. In a report it says that it found a number of concerns about the way the private healthcare market works. These, individually or in combination, restrict or distort competition and merit further investigation.

A primary concern is a lack of …

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