Private healthcare firms to be forced to sell hospitals by the Competition Commission

The provisional recommendations of the Competition Commission’s investigation into the private healthcare market have concluded the HCA must put up two of its six London hospitals for auction. As part of a series of ‘remedies’ for the market, BMI have also been ordered to sell seven of its 66 hospitals, however the proposed recommendations are less severe than initial proposals from the Commission that up to 20 hospitals would need to be sold, and the Commission has also dropped the idea of imposing price controls and preventing hospital operaters from bundling services. As well as ordering hospitals to publish performance data on consultants’ track record and fees, the commission said that it would prevent operators from opening private patient units in NHS hospitals unless they faced sufficient competition. The final report is due in April.