South Africans paying too much for private healthcare

On 6 January 2014, the Competition Commission began a market inquiry and investigation into South Africa’s private health sector.

The Competition Commission, in its findings on a four-year investigation into South Africa’s private healthcare sector, etitled the Healthcare Market Inquiry.

The Healthcare Market Inquiry found that new interventions are needed because the current system is not competitive, medical aids are making huge profits and consumers are not getting fair value for their money.

READ:Healthcare Funders Board say private healthcare report exposes escalating costs

To unpack the inquiry, Eusebius McKaiser spoke to Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand Sharon Fonn.

Fonn says the Competition Commission's point of departure is to ascertain the experience of the consumer and whether the market provides the consumer with something that is the product of a competitive market.

And then in a perfectly working competitive market, you are going to have competition between providers and ultimately driving down the price.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

So it is important to understand that a Health Market Inquiry is not interested in finding the boogyman and shooting him down, the Health Market Inquiry mechanism is there to try to say does the market work efficiently?

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

And to make it digestible, we basically tried to come up with four areas that we looked at that we think are very important.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

She says on the one side, they talk about the funder market and she says there is an assumption that it is medical schemes.

Also read:Consumers disadvantaged in private healthcare - Competition Comm

The funder market is...to give our money to a medical scheme. The medical schemes are not for profit and they pull our money. So if you get sick on a Monday you can use my money and if I am sick on Friday, I can use your money. That kind of system.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

And the rich cross-subsidise the poor and the sick are cross-subsidised by the well. And over time that evens out. So that we all put in and hopefully we all get out.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

She adds that schemes sometimes self-administer, but often farm out the administration to administrators and she says there are also managed care organisations who will organise providers.

She says that fundamentally they think that the market could be restructured.

By forcing all schemes to produce one comparable package, a basic benefits package. And then you know it doesn't matter who gives this to me, I am getting the same thing. What I can compare between them is how much it costs me and how efficient and effective they are.

Professor Sharon Fonn, Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand

McKaiser also spoke to CEO of Discovery Health Jonathan Broomberg who says he has read the report in detail.

I have to tell you in a general manager at Discovery, we are highly impressed. I think that this is a huge amount of work that has been done.

Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health

I think the HMI panel here has created for the first time in 20 years a solid evidence base to really debate health policy.

Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health

Listen below to hear how pundits unpacked the Healthcare Inquiry...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
‘Health sector needs reform, not NHI’

‘Health sector needs reform, not NHI’

Alex van den Heever, Chair of Social Security Systems Administration, says the public health sector should deliver more than what it does.

Consumers disadvantaged in private healthcare - Competition Comm

Consumers disadvantaged in private healthcare - Competition Comm

Clint Oellermann says the panel conducting the health market inquiry released their provisional findings report.

TAC: There is a crisis with the shortage of doctors in the country

TAC: There is a crisis with the shortage of doctors in the country

TAC accuses HPSCA of denying foreign doctors permits to work in the country while there is a huge demand for their services.

[LISTEN] NHI implementation will take massive reorganisation -  Aaron Motsoaledi

[LISTEN] NHI implementation will take massive reorganisation - Aaron Motsoaledi

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced last week, amendments to two bills including the the National Health Insurance (NHI).

Medical aid schemes respond to NHI

Medical aid schemes respond to NHI

Dr Sipho Kanbane from Council for Medical Schemes, says entities they regulate support the NHI.

NHI Bill 'a missed opportunity' - Rural Health Advocacy Project

NHI Bill 'a missed opportunity' - Rural Health Advocacy Project

There have been mixed reactions to the Health Minister's plans to reform the countries health system.

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Medical Aid Scheme Amendment Bill to boot out medical aid co-payments

Acting Chief Executive and Registrar for medical schemes, Dr Sipho Kabane, explains what the Amendment Bill entails.

Medical training body responds to Health Minister's health care reforms

Medical training body responds to Health Minister's health care reforms

There have been mixed reactions to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi's health care reforms unveiled on Thursday,

'Rich and poor must be able to use BOTH healthcare systems' - Health Minister

'Rich and poor must be able to use BOTH healthcare systems' - Health Minister

On Thursday Aaron Motsoaledi revealed plans for the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

‘NHI is like building a house with no land on which to put it’

‘NHI is like building a house with no land on which to put it’

It looks good, and necessary. But there are some serious issues that need sorting out, says Neil Kirby in this interview.

Motsoaledi announces much anticipated health insurance bill

Motsoaledi announces much anticipated health insurance bill

The NHI is aimed at providing free, quality healthcare for all South Africans.

NHI pilot project has not worked

NHI pilot project has not worked

Professor Alex van den Heever says nothing has come out of the numerous NHI pilot projects.

Health care system IS in distress, but NOT collapsing  - Health Minister

Health care system IS in distress, but NOT collapsing - Health Minister

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has dismissed reports that the South African health system is on the verge of collapse..

[LISTEN] #SADGT: Health Journo of the Year Pontsho Pilane

[LISTEN] #SADGT: Health Journo of the Year Pontsho Pilane

In this segment of South Africans Doing Great Things, we chat to the winner of the Discovery Health Journo Awards Pontsho Pilane.

Why you should seriously consider wearing slippers to work on Friday

Why you should seriously consider wearing slippers to work on Friday

Help make a very ill child smile. Bruce Whitfield interviews Dr Craig Nossel, Head at Discovery Vitality Wellness.

[MUST READ] President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address

[MUST READ] President Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address

President Cyril Ramaphosa is delivering his first State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

Lecturer at TUT's Dept of Tourism, Unathi Henama says that the tourism sector is at the center of the economic policies in SA.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

How to get rich by investing in smoking hot US and Canadian dagga shares

How to get rich by investing in smoking hot US and Canadian dagga shares

Returns of 500% are not unheard of. Is this another crypto-like bubble? Not in the least, says Financial Advisor Warren Ingram.

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

[WATCH] Is it a cow's penis or an udder? Well, this kid thinks it's a penis

[WATCH] Is it a cow's penis or an udder? Well, this kid thinks it's a penis

Check out the videos, tweets, Facebook posts that have gone viral and why this kid cheered her dad on in the toilet.

'My daughter bought Spur shares when she was 10 years old' - Dr Adrian Saville

'My daughter bought Spur shares when she was 10 years old' - Dr Adrian Saville

What does Citadel’s famed disciple of contrarian, deep-value investing Dr Adrian Saville hope for (and fear) about money?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

What in the World Happened To ... Thamsanqa Jantjie

What in the World Happened To ... Thamsanqa Jantjie

Remember the fake interpreter from the Mandela Memorial in December 2013? This week we find out what he's been up to.