Motsoaledi Accused of Trying to Control Private Health Prices

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Competition Commission’s private healthcare market inquiry is a “ruse” set in place by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as a “justification to control prices” in the sector to facilitate the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, the director of the Free Market Foundation, Jasson Urbach, said on Tuesday.

The inquiry was launched in early 2014 and is set to hold public consultations beginning next month.

Urbach also accused Motsoaledi of creating a public “narrative” of unaffordable private healthcare in order to manipulate future prices in the interests of the NHI. “Comparatively to other countries, private healthcare in South Africa is not excessively expensive. If it was, why would we have such a big medical tourism industry?” Urbach asked.

But the health minister has slammed these comments. Talking to the Mail & Guardian from Davos in Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Motsoaledi said: “I approached the commission with my hypothesis that private healthcare is too costly and they launched the inquiry to test this hypothesis.

Source: Mail & Guardian (link opens in a new window)

Health Care