Anti-Competitive Practices Will Cost Money

  • Bill English

Health Minister Bill English said today that anti-competitive practices in health would cost money that should be being spent on health services.

"I am pleased to see the Commerce Commission is paying attention to the health sector, which has to comply with the Commerce Act like any other sector.

"There is always pressure for more money to be spent in health. The cost of non-compliance with the Commerce Act is that money is not going on health services where it is needed," he said.

Mr English was commenting on a statement today from the Commerce Commission that it had begun proceedings against the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand and five ophthalmologists. The Commission was alleging anti-competitive collusion led to the cancellation of cataract operations in Invercargill.

"Late last year I asked the Ministry of Health to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of 130 urgently-needed cataract operations in Southland.

"The Ministry subsequently referred information to the Commission, but I understand it had already begun its own investigations," said Mr English.