NHS watchdog promises more choice for patients

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Patients have been promised more choice in where they are treated as a result of plans for more competition in health care.

Dr David Bennett, head of the economic regulator Monitor, has told the BBC's Branwen Jeffreys, that he expects to see many more private companies and charities treating NHS patients. If NHS services cannot attract patients they will be allowed to close.

The British Medical Association is opposing the plans to increase competition in health care in England as part of the coalition government's health bill.

Under the government's plans an organisation called Monitor will regulate a health care market in which NHS , private sector companies and charities will compete to treat NHS patients.

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