§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the principles driving the internal market; and what plans she has to regulate it.74W
§ Dr. Mawhinney
The internal market enables district health authorities and general practioner fundholders to assess their patient's needs and purchase services more responsively. This means that money for services follows patient care to those hospitals and community units which provide high quality and cost effective care. Hospitals and community units therefore have an incentive to develop their services in an environment which encourages increasing efficiency through competition. We already have mechanisms in place to manage the market and these are constantly updated.