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Private healthcare probe to be completed by end 2016

Oct 16 2015 20:30
Siseko Njobeni

Johannesburg - The Competition Commission's market inquiry into the private healthcare market will be completed in December next year, the commission said on Friday.

The commission is currently investigating the state, nature and form of competition in the private healthcare market.  

The private healthcare industry includes medical aid schemes, private and independent hospitals, medical specialists, general practitioners, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

The inquiry started in January last year.

The probe is in its information assessment and analytical phases.

"Following the submissions and responses received, the inquiry sent out further information requests to over 160 stakeholders in the private healthcare sector," the commission said in a statement.

This was to allow the team to conduct detailed inquiries into potential healthcare access and competition concerns, it said.

Commission spokesperson Themba Mathebula on Friday said the assessment and analysis phases will culminate in the drafting of the inquiry report.

"Concurrently the commission will be having targeted information requests to fill in gaps identified in the analysis being conducted," Mathebula said.

The commission said the inquiry has to date received large volumes of data and information from stakeholders and the team has spent significant time meticulously analysing the data and information.  

"However, in light of the extent of this inquiry and delays experienced in accessing information from certain stakeholders, the commission has decided to amend the completion date," the commission said.

The final inquiry report, which may include recommendations, will be completed by December 15 2016, it said.

The commission usually initiates market inquiry if it believes there are features of the sector which prevent, distort or restrict competition.

The body is also currently conducting market inquiries in the liquefied petroleum gas and retail sectors.

competition commission  |  sa economy  |  health
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