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Medical specialists charge way too much - report

Nov 09 2014 15:00

Johannesburg - Medical specialists are charging up to 300% more than the amounts medical aid schemes allow, according to Sunday's Rapport newspaper.

The allegation was reportedly contained in a submission that the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) would make to the Competition Commission's inquiry into the private health industry.

In its submission, the board said specialists fees - especially those of orthopaedic surgeons, cardiac and lung surgeons, anaesthetists, oncologists and pathologists - were sometimes up to 300% higher than medical aid schemes.

READ: Why specialists charge so much

The submissions, seen by the newspaper, included hospital and specialists' accounts which showed patients sometimes paid twice for the same procedure.

The BHF also argued that Life, Medi-Clinic and Netcare, the country's three biggest private health groups, dominated the market to such an extent that there was no real competition in the sector.

"One hospital group threatened a medical fund with a double-digit price increase unless the fund designated the hospital group as its preferred service provider," BHF reportedly said in its submission.

The Netcare Group said its submissions to the inquiry refuted any claims by the board that the company's prices were unreasonable.

ALSO READ: Broker rejects blame for hospital costs

netcare  |  medi-clinic  |  medical aids  |  health

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