NMa Allows Merger of Gooi Hospitals
The two hospitals, Ziekenhuis Hilversum and Ziekenhuis Gooi-Noord, may merge. After an in-depth investigation, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has issued a licence for the merger. To reach its decision, surveys were conducted, for instance amongst patients from the Gooi region. Interviews were also held with general practitioners and health insurers.
The focus of NMa's investigation was on the total market for general hospital care. NMa concluded that there was no reason to assume that a dominant position would emerge as a result of the merger. Sufficient other providers would remain. After the first phase of the investigation, NMa concluded that the vast majority of patients of both hospitals originate from the Gooi region. The subsequent investigation focussed on these patients. It emerged from the results that a sufficient number of patients are willing to travel to other hospitals. NMa therefore deemed it plausible that there is sufficient competitive pressure from the remaining hospitals and that patients in and in the vicinity of the Gooi region have sufficient choice.
It is the second time that NMa has made a substantive assessment of a hospital merger. At the beginning of 2004, NMa approved the merger of Ziekenhuis Leyenburg and Juliana Kinderziekenhuis/Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis in The Hague. NMa expects to take a decision this week on the takeover of Havenziekenhuis Rotterdam by Erasmus MC-Ziekenhuis.