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Healthcare inquiry uncovers major problems with private healthcare and hospitals

1 October 2019 8:09 AM
Tags:
Competition Commission
Costs of private healthcare
Healthcare Market Inquiry
private healthcare
Public Health professor Sharon Fonn says the problem with the healthcare system is doctors charge more so they can earn more.

The Competition Commission has uncovered several major problems with South Africa’s private medical aid schemes and hospitals.

On Monday the commission released its findings on the Healthcare Market Inquiry.

The commission initiated the inquiry in 2013 amid concerns that only a minority of South Africans could afford private healthcare and that prices were rising above inflation.

Its preliminary findings established that existing service providers were anti-competitive and that medical scheme administrators were making huge profits by over-utilising services such as acute-care.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to University of the Witwatersrand professor of Public Health professor Sharon Fonn about the report.

One of the problems that we have with our healthcare system is that the more you (doctors) charge is the more they can earn. And also patients are a little bit at fault here because they think more is better.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health - University of the Witwatersrand

We also have no measurements of outcomes. At the end of it are you better or not?

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health - University of the Witwatersrand

Another problem we have is a huge concentration in the market, Fonn adds.

The three big hospital groups dominate and dominance is not a problem unless you use it to disadvantage others.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health - University of the Witwatersrand

Hospitals are just buildings with lots of facilities. It is doctors that admit patients so hospitals actually compete for doctors.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health - University of the Witwatersrand

Listen to the full interview below...


1 October 2019 8:09 AM
Tags:
Competition Commission
Costs of private healthcare
Healthcare Market Inquiry
private healthcare

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