The Competition Commission has indicated there has been no push-back by private health-care companies after the tabling of a damning report into their conduct. A Cape Argus report notes the commission had tabled the report which found that there was market dominance by three large hospital groups, and there were high costs in private hospitals.
Deputy Commissioner Hardin Ratshisusu told the Portfolio Committee on Health there had been no push-back against the report. Members of the Health Committee said they believed National Health Insurance (NHI) would address the challenges in the industry. They said the high cost of private hospitals was unaffordable for most people, that the NHI would fill that gap and ensure there was universal, quality health care in the country.
Pumza Dyantyi, of the ANC, said they needed to ask questions about the standardisation of prices in private health care. ‘Why has it been so difficult, with the laws that we have, to do oversight on the prices?’ Dyantyi asked. She said this needed to happen.
Manzoor Shaik Emamn, of the National Freedom Party, said NHI was needed to address the issue of high prices in the private sector. He said they could not allow three major hospitals groups to dominate the market at the expense of all the people. The poor were suffering because the major players determined the structure and nature of the business, he said.
Ratshisusu said it was up to Parliament and the Health Department to decide how to implement the report.Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)