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British government bans BMA's private fees guide

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6927.492a (Published 19 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:492
  1. L Beecham

    The British government has banned the British Medical Association (BMA) from publishing its guidelines to consultants on fees for private practice. In a report from the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) to the secretary of state for trade and industry the commission said that the list of fees creates a “complex monopoly.” The Fair Trading Act defines this as a situation that exists “if a group of two or more persons... restrict or distort competition in connection with the supply of goods or services.” The list helped doctors to charge higher fees than would otherwise be possible. The MMC said that the list was against the public interest and criticised the lack of price competition among consultants and of any pressure on charges exerted by patients or general practitioners. There is no reason, the commission says, why there should not be competition in …

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