§ Mr. Fearn
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take, inthe light of the published results of the research work of Shortell and Hughes, concerning the consequences of competitive economic pressures on hospitals, a copy of which has been sent to him; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
[holding answer 15 July 1988]: I have noted the contents of the article by Shortell and Hughes published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 28 April. It is often difficult to draw direct lessons from overseas experience with health care markets; especially if, as in this case, the hospital markets concerned and the forms of Government regulation studied have no immediate parallel in this country.