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TMCNet:  Date set for inquiry into health costs [Cape Argus (South Africa)]

[December 02, 2013]

Date set for inquiry into health costs [Cape Argus (South Africa)]

(Cape Argus (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sipokazi Fokazi HEALTH WRITER The Competition Commission will soon launch its much-awaited inquiry into private health care.

The inquiry will start on January 6 and last 11 months. In its terms of reference, published on Friday, it |raises a number of concerns that need to be investigated.

It says that while users of private health-care facilities were largely satisfied with the service they received, prices remained out of reach for most.

"The commission is initiating an inquiry into the private health-care sector because it has reason to believe that there are features of the sector that prevent, distort or restrict competition," it said.

According to data collected from medical schemes between 2003 and last year, hospitals and specialists accounted for 60 percent of claims expenditure.

The Hospital Association of SA, which represents most hospitals, welcomed the inquiry.

"It is appropriate that the commission invests the time and resources to reach a complete understanding of the enormous complexities of the health-care sector," said spokesman Nkaki Matlala.

"We trust that the commission will ultimately provide an independent and impartial account of those factors which influence private health-care provision." Cape Argus (c) 2013 Independent Newspapers (Pty) Limited. All rights strictly reserved. Provided by, an company

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