Completion Date for Private Healthcare Market Inquiry Extended

Department of Economic Development

The final Inquiry report and recommendations for the Competition Commission’s Market Inquiry into the private healthcare sector will now be completed by 30 November 2018.

The Inquiry, which commenced in January 2014, was originally intended to conclude on 30 November 2015.

However, the Competition Commission extended the completion date in October 2015 to 15 December 2016 and again, at the end of 2016, until December 2017.

In December 2017 the completion date was further extended until 31 August 2018.

The Inquiry has been conducted in terms of Chapter 4A of the Competition Act of 1998.

According to the terms of reference, chapter 4A allows the Commission to conduct market inquiries in respect of the "general state of competition in a market for particular goods or services, without necessarily referring to the conduct or activities of any particular named firm”.

The Inquiry has looked at the general level of competition in private healthcare in South Africa.

It has focused on healthcare financing and healthcare services.

The provisional report on the Health Market Inquiry was released for comment in July 2018.

According to the Commission, the private healthcare market suffers from multiple market failures.

In general, the Inquiry recommends changes to the way scheme options are structured to increase competition, a system to increase transparency on health outcomes to allow for value purchasing and the introduction of a supply side regulator to improve competition.

The economic development department published the extension notice in Government Gazette 41893.

According to the notice, one of the reasons for the extension was requests by stakeholders for access to underlying data and information used to prepare the provisional report.

Sabinet Cape Town Office