October 03, 2013

Competition appeal tribunal finds delayed competition commission process in breach of the rules of natural justice

The Competition Commission has been found to have unfairly blocked private hospital groups from defending themselves. Yesterday (Wednesday 2 Oct, 2013) a Competition Appeals Tribunal hearing, upheld a complaint by BMI Healthcare backed by HCA and Spire.

The judgement found that the Competition Commission, who sharply criticised the industry over pricing in a long overdue report last month, had restricted access to the data supporting their case to an extent that the companies were unfairly constrained in preparing a reasoned response.

HCA, who have been threatened with divestment by the Competition Commission Investigation’s statement of Potential Remedies, strongly welcome the tribunal result.

Keith Biddlestone, Commercial Director of HCA International, said: “The Competition Commission have launched an attack on our prices without revealing how their conclusion was drawn. They left us with no reasonable way of defending ourselves. Their Provisional Findings and Potential Remedies reports were also significantly delayed. The outcomes of this hearing means that we should be given more time and access to information to understand and respond to the CCs assertions.

“There are 74 private hospitals in the Greater London area and HCA own just six of them. Our crime appears to be that we have made them the best run hospitals in the city and attracted more than 30% of private admissions in the capital.”

The full judgement may be read here: http://www.catribunal.org.uk/237-8168/1218-6-8-13-BMI-Healthcare-Limited.html

Notes to editor:

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

2. 2012 patient surveys showed: 98% of HCA patients would recommend an HCA facility to their friends and family; 99% are happy with the quality of care and cleanliness of their treatment; and 99.6% said they were treated with dignity and respect.

3. HCA has invested 102% of profits over the past five years in new technology and complex care.

4. HCA International hospitals provide care for more than 400,000 patients a year with an international reputation for the highest standards of complex care. HCA has invested more than half a billion pounds over the past ten years in its facilities, including a comprehensive range of the latest diagnostic and treatment technology. HCA is the only private provider to have ITU level 3 in all of its hospitals. For more information, visit www.hcahospitals.co.uk

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