We welcome today’s publication of the Summary Provisional Decision on Remedies (PDR) of the Competition Commission (CC) in its investigation into the private healthcare market. Although the full PDR has not yet been published, the Summary supports our view – stated repeatedly throughout the process - that Spire Healthcare is not anti-competitive.
We note the five specific remedies proposed today by the CC. The detail of the four remedies which will affect Spire - relating to consultant incentive schemes, the management of PPU operations by private operators, the collection and publication of information on private hospitals and consultants’ performance, and the provision by consultants of fee information to patients - will be set out in the full PDR, but in principle Spire has no issue with them and will work with the CC to make them as effective as possible. The fifth remedy – which requires the divestment of certain hospitals – does not relate to Spire.
While this is not the end of the process, it is nevertheless an important milestone. With the final report due by early April 2014, we now look forward to bringing to an end this extended period of uncertainty for our patients, our employees and our suppliers, which has lasted for two years since the inquiry began. In particular, I’d like to thank our employees, who have remained focused on delivering high quality care throughout this time.
We continue to focus on our strategy of growth, both organically and through acquisitions. As a sign of our continuing commitment to the private healthcare sector, since the start of the CC investigation (ie since April 2012) we have invested over £100 million in the business; in new scanners, new theatres, new services and in increasing surgical complexity. We also believe there will be further opportunities for Spire to invest in and expand its business. If a hospital came up for sale we would consider it carefully as an integral part of our long term strategy.
Rob Roger, Chief Executive of Spire Healthcare, said: “We welcome the publication of the Competition Commission’s provisional remedies, which supports our view that Spire Healthcare is not anti-competitive and are pleased that none of the divestment remedies relate to Spire.”
He continued: “The outlook for private healthcare, and for Spire in particular, is encouraging, especially as the economy recovers and employment rises. We look forward to the future with confidence.”