JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africans are paying too much for private healthcare, the country’s antitrust watchdog said on Thursday, adding patients are sometimes prescribed treatments they don’t need by an industry with limited competition.
Presenting its findings of a four-year investigation into the sector, the Competition Commission said private health providers sometimes recommended pricey treatments unnecessarily.
“This happens, for example, if a doctor orders more tests than are absolutely necessary or conducts a Caesarean section when it is not absolutely necessary to do so,” said Sandile Ngcobo, a former chief justice who headed the Commission’s investigating panel.
The findings could boost health minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s efforts to cut costs for patients as the government works towards implementing a nationwide medical insurance plan that aims to give the poor greater access to healthcare. ….more