Parliament, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Health received a briefing from the Competition Commission of South Africa on the Health Market Inquiry (HMI) Report. The report was released in 2019 and was headed by Justice Sandile Ngcobo. The HMI was launched in 2014 to investigate the high prices and uncompetitive nature of the private healthcare industry.
Briefing the committee on what it found during the inquiry, the commission established that private healthcare is characterised by high and rising costs, significant over-utilisation and no documented improvement in health outcomes.
In its report, the commission found that there has been inadequate stewardship of the private sector. Failures include the Department of Health not using existing legislated powers to provide oversight on the private healthcare market; failing to ensure regulator reviews, as required by law; and falling to hold regulators sufficiently accountable. As a consequence, the private sector is neither efficient nor competitive.
The committee welcomed the report, but expressed concern about the state of private healthcare in South Africa that it portrays. Committee Chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said: “This report is saying there are challenges in the private health sector and it is important to engage on the challenges.” He added that there is over-servicing within private healthcare, using higher levels of care than required.
In its discussions, the committee proposed that the Health Market Inquiry Report requires an in-depth study through a workshop to look at the recommendations in order to ensure implementation. This process should be mindful that the recommendations do not benefit funders, whilst having negative consequences for the service providers.
The commission pointed out that the report provides an evidence-based diagnosis of the private health sector and offers remedies.
The committee said it will process the HMI report with the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8203
Cell: 081 497 4694
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