HMI wants to regulate private medical care to death

From the latest Solidarity statement to the media:

Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners expressed its concern over recommendations made in the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI) into the cost of private health care. It is believed that the Competition Commission, in collaboration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), will determine what constitutes excessive fees and remedy such.

Hennie Biermann, head of Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners, contends that the recommendations amount to price fixing for private health practitioners. According to the Competition Commission’s market inquiry issued yesterday, additional recommendations are included that make provision for price regulation in respect of private hospital services and that of practitioners in the private medical sector.

“The over-regulation of the health care sector makes it even more difficult for doctors to offer essential services to a population that already has too few health practitioners serving it. The HMI confirms that certain parts of the country experience a shortage of doctors, especially specialists, and we now run the risk of alienating this professional community even more,” Biermann said.

The Occupational Guild for Health Care Practitioners has asked the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) to undertake a detailed study of the report.

“Based on this study we will be able to understand the HMI’s direct impact on health practitioners and the guild will then adapt its strategy and take action accordingly,” Biermann concluded.

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