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Bupa's response to the Competition Commission Provisional Findings

 

Recently the Competition Commission (CC) published the Provisional Remedies of its investigation into the UK private healthcare market.

This follows 20 months of investigation where Bupa has been calling for action to secure the long-term future of the UK private healthcare market. Bupa’s goal has simply been to ensure better value for money for customers high quality care at affordable prices, allowing more people to access private healthcare.

The CC has made a number of positive and decisive proposals which we believe are in the best interests of customers. It has proposed that:

1. Nine private hospitals should be sold to introduce substantial new competition:

  • HCA should sell two hospitals in central London (London Bridge and Princess Grace).
  • BMI should sell seven hospitals in Greater London, the Home Counties and the North-West of England (either Bishops Wood or Clementine Churchill, either Cavell or Kings Oak, either Shelburne or Chiltern, Chelsfield Park, either Sloane or Shirley Oaks, either Saxon Clinic or Three Shires, and Highfield)

2. Where a private hospital operator wants to buy or partner with an NHS private patient unit (PPU), it will now need to pass a competition test to ensure the arrangement improves, rather than undermines, competition.

3. Hospitals will no longer be able to pay direct incentives to consultants, and profit sharing agreements between hospitals and consultants will be restricted.

4. Information on the performance of private hospitals and individual consultants should be collected and published, and private hospital operators should also require consultants to publish information on their fees.

While it will be some time before customers see the benefits of these proposals, Bupa believe these remedies are a major step forward for customers and patients.

In the meantime, Bupa will continue to work with the CC until the investigation finishes at the end of March to ensure that these remedies are effectively implemented.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Health Matters Account Manager.

simon@health-matters.co.uk

 

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