South Africa: NHI Pulse - Department of Health Non-Committal On Private Sector Reforms


Spotlight asked the Department of Health and others what happens next following the release of a landmark report into private healthcare in South Africa.

The Competition Commission's landmark Health Market Inquiry (HMI) into the private healthcare sector has delivered both a thorough diagnosis of problems in the sector and wide-ranging prescriptions for fixing these problems. It remains unclear whether the Department of Health (DoH) has an appetite for implementing the prescribed solutions.

Speaking to Spotlight about the report, which found the private sector to be both inefficient and uncompetitive, and marred by inexplicably high and rising costs, DoH Deputy Director-General for National Health Insurance (NHI), Anban Pillay, was both opaque and optimistic.

"We need to study the recommendations of the HMI report. These recommendations are intended to address a particular problem which we must appreciate," he said.

"The regulation of suppliers in terms of pricing, outcomes and value for money are very important success factors for the NHI and are reflected in the NHI Bill. The [HMI] recommendations could benefit the NHI by, amongst others, achieving lower prices, improved understanding of health outcomes and quality of care in the private sector, [and] key health indicators of users in the private...

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