Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
HomeAus & NZCommerce Commission rejects medical imaging complaint

Commerce Commission rejects medical imaging complaint

'Quick read' news summary

The Commerce Commission has rejected a complaint that changes in who owns medical imaging scanning practices could markedly erode competition.

A group of large radiology operators, including Pacific, had complained about surgeons taking stakes in new practices.

The commission said there was no evidence the arrangements were entered into with the aim of substantially lessening competition.

“We do not consider that the arrangements are sufficiently widespread at this time to have the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition,” the commission told the Institute of Independent Radiologists, which lodged the complaint.

The commission made initial inquiries, assessing the issue under a section of the Act about competition, but was not taking it further.

“We note our understanding that referrers who have shareholding interests are required by the Medical Counsel [sic] to make decisions that are free of commercial bias (or the appearance of commercial bias).”

The Institute of Independent Radiologists, which groups seven large providers, has targeted the new practices through the commission, the Medical Council, the Ministry of Health, and the courts.

The institute said it welcomed the Commerce Commission saying it could revist the issue if the ownership model spread.

A backer of new radiology practices with mixed ownership that have opened, or will open, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch said the decision backed them.

“The entities we’re standing up in partnership with … are actually working to increase and promote competition, which ultimately will drive more capacity into the market, which is better for patients,” managing director of Mercy Radiology Lloyd McCann said.

A number of institute members adopted similar ownership models, and their challenges were a distraction, he said.

“There is too much work for the sector at the moment. We’d much rather be focusing on just getting people the diagnostic interventions that they require,” McCann said.

The Medical Council recently strengthened its guidelines on doctors avoiding

The Commerce Commission has rejected a complaint that changes in who owns medical imaging scanning practices could markedly erode competition. "We do not consider that the arrangements are sufficiently widespread at this time to have the effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition," the commission told the Institute of Independent Radiologists, which lodged the complaint. The institute said it welcomed the Commerce Commission saying it could revist the issue if the ownership model spread.

Read different perspectives