Hospitals, medical aids ‘in collusion’

Medical aid administrators and private hospital groups stand accused of colluding with each other to determine what medicines are available to prescribe to their patients.

In submissions to the Competition Commission inquiry into the cost of private healthcare, doctors and physiotherapists say they are furious that medical aid administrators set the prices doctors can charge and even interfere with the treatment they provide.

In its submission, the South African Medical Association (Sama), representing more than 7 000 doctors, has slammed the three large hospital groups – Mediclinic, Life and Netcare – and medical aid administrator Discovery Health, claiming they decide together what treatments are available in hospitals.

-Katharine Child

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