National Hospital Network Granted Conditional Exemption

Department of Economic Development

A conditional exemption has been granted to the National Hospital Network (NHN).

The economic development department published notification of the exemption in Government Gazette 42092.

The NHN is a “non-profit company, a co-operative venture that is controlled by its members, a group of independent private hospitals who run medical establishments such as day clinics, sub-acute facilities and psychiatric facilities”.

Members implement the prices negotiated and entered into on their behalf by NHN with medical schemes and/or medical scheme administrators.

The exemption also permits the NHN to engage on behalf of its members in global fee negotiations with medical schemes, administrators, the state and healthcare providers.

The Competition Commission granted the exemption for five years commencing on 1 November 2018 and ending on 31 October 2023.

It holds the view that the market dynamics remained the same and that, therefore, the “exemption is still required to enable NHN members to be able to continue growing in competition with the big three hospitals”.

Conditions focus on a grace period condition, global fees and annual submission of fees.

NHN will be required to submit information to the Commission on an annual basis in order to monitor the impact of the measures taken to meet the objectives.

Meanwhile, the department has, in Notice 772, published mergers approved by the Competition Tribunal.

Mergers include the acquiring of Sunshine Bakery Holdings (Pty) Ltd by Philafrica Foods (Pty) Ltd, Lonmin PLC by Sibanye Gold Limited, Investec Property Fund Ltd by Equites Property Fund Ltd and Ladismith Cheese Company (Pty) Ltd by Sea Harvest Group Ltd.

Sabinet Cape Town Office