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SA medical costs among world’s highest

Aug 02 2012 09:21 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Medical costs in South Africa are up to five times higher than those in other nations, Business Report reported on Thursday.

Department of Health head of pricing Anban Pillay said the cost of hospitalisation for maternity was $3 000 (R24 605) while the average cost in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, comprising mostly developed nations, was $2 750 (R22 554), the paper reported.

However, when the cost was adjusted for purchasing power, other countries only paid about $500 (R4 100).

Pillay said the purchasing power estimate was based on the entire South African population's affordability levels.

However, even if it was adjusted to include only those with medical schemes, it would still not come close to the average of OECD countries.

"Clearly, the prices in South Africa are much higher than the affordability level," Pillay said. "Even if you adjust it to the wealthiest person in the country, it will still be higher."

He said private sector pricing could be reformed based on costing information in the public sector.

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oecd  |  healthcare  |  medical costs

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