A call for an urgent investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into the role of Primary Care Trusts and District General Hospitals in restricting patient choice was made today by Professor John Spiers* ahead of launching a major new book** on consumer choice in healthcare.
Professor Spiers, Visiting Fellow in Health Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, urged an urgent enquiry into the present structure of state-licensed cartels and monopolies. He said: "Primary Care Trusts are local monopolies which restrict patient choice. So too do large District General Hospitals which are protected from competition by the guaranteed income that they receive for Accident and Emergency services directly from government. They are also protected f