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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
'More die in private hospitals' - researchers

New research suggests that people treated in private hospitals are slightly more likely to die than patients cared for in public ones.

Researchers from three universities in the United States and Canada studied the medical records of nearly 40 million people treated in American hospitals over a 13-year period.

The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, shows that 2% more private-hospital patients had died than public ones.

The researchers have suggested the higher mortality rate may be because hospitals run for profit in the US have to pay dividends to shareholders and tax, and have less money to spend on patients.

They say their findings should discourage Canada from privatising its healthcare system.

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