HC Deb 13 January 2003 vol 397 cc495-6W
Mr. Challen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what areas of public health provision are supplied in competition with the private sector. [88591]

Ms Blears

In general there is no competition between the private and public sector in the provision of public health. An occasional exception is the complementary provision of microbiological pathology laboratory services by the Public Health Laboratory Service and the National Health Service, where some private laboratories also provide analysis of food environmental and water samples. At local level it is for primary care groups to determine the mix of public/ private provision and public sector providers may tender for contracts, for example, those advertised in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

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