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HMR 1st Qtr 2013: BHF: Market enquiry into healthcare costs by the Competition Commission
 

HMR Africa

The Board of Healthcare Funders welcomes the Competition Commission’s market enquiry into healthcare costs and anticipates that the Commission’s added powers will result in robust scrutiny of the industry. The BHF also believes that the enquiry will pave the way for policy makers to legislate issues of pricing in the private healthcare provider sector and to introduce the reforms necessary in the private healthcare funding sector.




Dr Zokufa
Says BHF MD, Dr Zokufa, “There is currently no transparency in the pricing of healthcare services, and a lack of scientific approach in arriving at tariffs. These and other cost-drivers within the industry which need to be curtailed through reform”.

The BHF believes that one of the most significant drivers of costs within the sector resulted from the Competition Commissioner’s 2004 ruling which outlawed collective bargaining in the private healthcare arena. This resulted in massive increases in costs within the sector. Collective bargaining in the medical schemes environment gave consumers more power to negotiate better prices for healthcare, which therefore resulted in a downward pressure on costs. The BHF therefore anticipates that one of the outcomes of the enquiry will be the ability for funders to come together to negotiate collectively again, in the interest of the consumer.

The BHF suggests that the Commission should not limit itself to two years to investigate what is an extremely complex environment.

“We hope that this market enquiry will delve into all aspects of pricing within the environment and that the necessary reform will follow so that our world-class private sector may become more affordable to more of the population, and that the private sector can position itself to become an integral part of the proposed NHI,” says Zokufa.

 

Posted on Monday, May 27 @ 11:59:23 SAST by E-Doc
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HMR Africa

  



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