• Business model as medicine

    Revisiting your business model is a useful way to revive your business, says Ian Mann.

  • No sugar-coated pill

    The cost of uninformed medical consent runs into billions, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Greek tragedy

    Athens' relations with the EU was an accident waiting to happen, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

Hospitals, specialists drive up costs

Aug 14 2012 21:46 Sapa

Related Articles

SA medical costs among world’s highest

Medical scheme tax credits to go to NHI

Hiked costs will further squeeze members

Dentists slam tariff guidelines

New medical tariffs transparent - HPCSA

Medical tariff guidelines for patients

Johannesburg - The Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa (BHF) has welcomed the health department's finding that hospitals and specialists are driving up medical costs.

Expenditure on private hospitals by medical schemes rose by 109.3% in real terms between 2000 and 2009, according to the Council for Medical Schemes' 2010 annual report.

"This equates to 37% of the approximately R84bn collected by medical schemes from their members," said the BHF in a statement.

"The refusal by hospital groups to provide data on the cost of providing hospital care to the BHF and others has meant that the only way of conducting studies on pricing is to obtain data from other countries for similar healthcare services," said BHF spokesperson Humphrey Zokufa.

The lack of transparency had also resulted in smaller medical schemes being charged higher hospital tariffs than bigger schemes.

Hospital groups formed an oligarchy and wielded market power.

Secondly, there were no set prices for healthcare services, allowing providers to charge at any rate they pleased.

The set of minimum benefits which medical schemes had to cover by law were mostly hospital- and specialist-based conditions.

A 2006 BHF analysis had shown that costs within JSE-listed hospital groups were consistently higher than those of independent hospitals.

However, no explanation had been offered for this discrepancy by hospitals.

"Hospital groups should not be defensive about these types of studies, but should rather be coming forward to explain as to how they will be making healthcare more affordable for the average medical scheme member," said Zokufa.

* Follow Fin24 on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


medical costs  |  hospitals



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The total fuel levy of 80.5c a litre announced in the budget:

Previous results · Suggest a vote