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Authors' reply

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 17 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:445
  1. Angela Coulter,
  2. Jean Bradlow,
  3. Sarah Stewart-Brown,
  4. Helen Doll
  1. Director King's Fund Development Centre, London W1M 0AN
  2. Honorary research associate Unit of Health Care Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HE
  3. Research officer Director Statistician Health Services Research Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care

    EDITOR,—We agree that there are several possible explanations for the referral patterns observed in our comparison of fundholding and non-fundholding practices.1 We are slightly surprised that James Dunbar and colleagues have assumed that a reduction in specialist referrals would be a beneficial outcome of fundholding. We certainly did not make that assumption, although it may have been the government's intention in introducing the scheme. Indeed, our paper pointed out that we were …

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