SA medical costs among world’s highest

2012-08-02 09:21

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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  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-02 10:53

    And our Rand is five times weaker than those other nations and all our quality medical staff are working in those countries because they make more money. You want the last to leave too? Stop threatening investors, build the country based on a growing economy so that our Rand strengthen and walla, we will pay the same fees as those other countries.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-08-02 19:54

    I don't agree, for example : Zuma is not wealthiest, has 20 children. Even if he had all those children in just one month @ R24k each, it would not even cost half of his salary ! Point is that quality health care costs, doctors study and work real hard for average salary. "Even if you adjust it to the wealthiest person in the country, it will still be higher."

  • tereza.correia.921 - 2012-08-15 14:36

    Mediclinic questions the analysis used and conclusions reached by Dr Pillay concerning the relative comparison of South African private hospitals to OECD countries. In his analysis Dr Pillay uses hospital reimbursement amounts for specific procedures in certain OECD countries and compares them to price levels in South African private hospitals, on the basis of purchasing power parity. Based on his calculations he further concludes that the prices in South African private hospitals are in some cases as much as five times higher (in PPP terms) than the benchmarked countries. Mediclinic’s calculations indicate that the analysis that informed this conclusion is incorrect and the conclusion is therefore misguided. This article provides an analytical review of the model used by Dr Pillay:

      Jamie Hilsdon - 2013-08-07 08:09

      Mediclinic would say that as they are trying to justify their prices. The fact of the matter is that medical care is incredibly expensive, particularly because of the fact that the medical groups are private companies with shareholders to report to. There should be limitations as to what providers are allowed to charge, in order to protect the public from unscrupulous companies, whose sole intention is to make as much money from each customer as possible. Having said that there is a reason why private healthcare is doing so well and it is because the government has failed to deliver decent and reliable healthcare.

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