On 6 January 2014, South Africa’s Competition Commission began a market inquiry, or investigation, into the private health sector following concerns about the high price of health care in the sector.
The market inquiry will examine why the private sector may not be working effectively. The commission will ultimately make recommendations to improve the private sector to protect consumer interests while markets remain fair and competitive.
The commission will specifically look into the increases in prices in private health care and determine cost drivers. According to its terms of reference, the commission will investigate issues including:
- The fees charged to individuals on medical aid versus those who pay out of pocket;
- The role of hospitals in influencing the demand for health goods and services; and
- The relationship between hospitals and services such as ambulances, pathology, medicines and medical devices, and whether these relationships push up costs.
Documents outlining key dates, as well as the text of remarks made by Inquiry Chairperson Retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo and the resulting press release distributed at a 16 April stakeholder meeting can be downloaded below:
For more background, download a fact sheet on the inquiry.