back to article UnitedHealth's buyout of UK's EMIS could reduce competition: UK watchdog

The UK's market watchdog has warned that US health insurer UnitedHealth's £1.24 billion ($1.5 billion) bid to buy UK health records software supplier EMIS could lead to worse outcomes for the NHS. The Competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) initial investigation has found competition could be substantially reduced, …

  1. MJI Silver badge

    Isn't there a legal get out?

    That NHS could ignore the rise and tell them to do one?

  2. cyberdemon Silver badge


    How is this not just buying a pile of personal data on the whole UK population?

    A "Brexit Dividend" not for us, but for American companies who are lining up to exploit us, now that those pesky European data protection laws no longer apply.

    As the UK government runs the NHS into the ground, I bet the US Health Insurance market is licking its lips in anticipation of the privatisation of the UK health system - and would like to get their grubby hands on all of our health data beforehand so they can rig their prices for maximum profit.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: WTF!

      Not sure that Brexit has anything to do with this.

      More that the Conservatives will allow anything to be sold to anyone regardless of the impact.

      Just like Palantir, they simply don't give a stuff as longs as they continue to get all sorts of perks to facilitate the deals.

      Whether Labour (or anyone else for that matter) would actually stop these deals is another thing altogether.

      That there is a very high chance of BJ being PM again is the most scary thing. The entire lot are utterly divorced from reality.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: WTF!

        BJ as PM?

        Before the next election?

        Need to find someway to disqualify him.

        It is notable that my MP is standing down, as are a few in the area.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: WTF!

        We are a free market economy and so the default answer has been that you can buy something, unless there are compelling reasons you shouldn't be able to. Labour was definitely absolutely no better in that regard back when they were in power.

        My personal view in this case is that they shouldn't be able to buy EMIS; at the point I worked in NHS IT it was hands down the most popular bit of software amongst GP's because the original version had been written by a GP to make his life simpler back in the 80's, and GP's considered EMIS to be the best system on the market. In our county my recollection is that EMIS had around an 80% market share, but that's a good decade and more out of date at this stage.

        Given that EMIS competes directly against United Health's software the most obvious purpose of United Health buying EMIS would be them using money from the US to establish a monopoly in the UK, with the other option being that it's a leveraged buyout which would be paid for by jacking up licensing fees for EMIS.

        I can't see the benefit to either circumstance, and under the circumstances I wouldn't trust breezy assurances from them on the subject.

        1. dogcatcher

          Re: WTF!

          As a civilian customer I hate EMIS, I wish the local surgery would get some software that works.

          1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

            Re: WTF!

            Many of my family work in the NHS and have first hand experience of the alternatives.

            They say that EMIS is much better than SystemOne.

          2. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: WTF!

            As a civilian customer I hate EMIS, I wish the local surgery would get some software that works.

            EMIS's peculiarities are nothing next to the problems suffered by other providers. When I was somewhat involved, I know that certain other systems had endearing traits such as losing data that was entered.

            In any case, the patient portal that you will have access to is not particularly related to the software the GP uses.

          3. PeterM42

            Re: WTF!

            EMIS seems to work quite well - makes prepeat prescription requests easy.

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