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News

April 02, 2014

Competition and Markets Authority ruling undermines quality healthcare in London

In response to the final report published today by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) - formerly the Competition Commission - HCA International provided the following response:

The CMA’s proposed remedy, which ignores a number of key points, would punish healthcare innovation and is not in the best interests of patients. HCA International intends to vigorously challenge it in the courts.

The hospitals now owned by HCA International were sold a decade ago because they were not considered viable. Today, these hospitals are world-class centres, offering high quality, innovative cardiac and cancer care. Approximately 98% of HCA International’s patients would recommend HCA International hospitals to family and friends.

Mike Neeb, President and CEO of HCA International, said:

“HCA International made significant investments to transform these facilities into some of London’s leading hospitals. As a result, patients now have greater access to higher quality care than they had ten years ago, and they come to us because of that high level of quality.

“The CMA has treated the highly complex healthcare system as a commodity market, focusing almost exclusively on price and overlooking the importance of quality. By contrast, quality is every patient’s primary concern. We are the only private health provider in the UK to publish independently assessed clinical results across cancer care, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and intensive care.

“In failing to consider our investment, the mix of patients we treat, and the complex procedures we carry, the CMA has drawn inaccurate conclusions about HCA International’s pricing – something which we strongly refute and will of course be challenging.

“HCA legally acquired these hospitals, in the case of the London Bridge with explicit approval by the OFT, yet now after millions of pounds of investment, it is being forced to sell. The CMA's main allegation appears to be that HCA is too successful, too efficient, too innovative. It wants to punish HCA for that success. The proposed remedy sends a very disturbing signal to the market.

“Today HCA International delivers world-class care through a tight network of hospitals – a model recognised the world over as the best way to deliver complex care to patients. Now, the CMA is proposing to break up that network, undermining HCA's strategic investment in improving the quality of care available to patients. The CMA has received and ignored hundreds of letters from senior and eminent clinicians, voicing their serious concerns about divestment.”

Dr. Sean Preston, consultant gastroenterologist said, "Having practised for many years at The Princess Grace Hospital, it is clear that HCA's network means I have immediate access to world-class colleagues in first-class medical facilities, which has resulted in excellent clinical outcomes for my patients. The CMA’s findings are a considerable concern to me and many other Consultants."

By the CMA’s own admission, there are over 50 competing hospitals in London, and the market continues to expand and deliver new and innovative treatments which are driving up quality and saving patient lives.

For more information please contact the HCA Press Office: hca@brands2life.com or 07949 504 396.
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