COSATU welcomes the release of the long-awaited health market inquiry report. The findings of the report confirm that the private healthcare sector prices are at levels which only a minority of South Africans can afford.
The Federation (COSATU) has always advocated that health is a public good and should not be commercialised. This is a point that has been stressed in previous congresses in which we oppose the corruption and overcharging by the private sector and exorbitant increases in medical aid fees. This opposition is integral for ensuring that the profit motive does not drive the provision of health care services.
The findings of the health market report confirm COSATU’s fierce opposition to the commercialisation of health and its consequence on both quality and access to care. Key findings from the report include:
· Private hospital facilities markets are vulnerable to collusion both formal and informally
· Private hospital facilities benefit from excessive utilization of health care services without the need to contain costs.
· Facilities operate without any scrutiny of the quality of their services and the clinical outcomes that they deliver
· Facilities market has largely failed to benefit from competition because of the concentration of the big three hospital groups.
· There is evidence of significant supply-induced demand
· Incentives in the private health care market promote overutilization
The outcomes of the report necessitate the implementation of the national health insurance which will create a single public health system for South Africa.
The speedy and efficient roll-out of the NHI will ensure that we achieve better health outcomes for all South Africans.
We view the finding of the inquiry as one of the crucial processes in affirming our beliefs that privatisation and commercialisation of essential services produces negative socio-economic effects.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794