A report by the Health Market Inquiry (HMI) looking into the private healthcare industry has recommended that there be increased transparency and improved competition.

The HMI released its provisional report on Thursday after hearing evidence from a number of stakeholders in the past three years.

The inquiry, which is chaired by the ex-Chief Justice, Sandile Ngcobo, was set up to look into the costs of healthcare and the operations of medical schemes.

Here are some of its reccomendations:

  • The way scheme options are structured should be changed to increase comparability between schemes and increase competition in that market.
  • A system to increase transparency on health outcomes to allow for value purchasing should be developed.
  • A set of interventions to improve competition in the market through a supply side regulator should be set up.
  • In addition, the HMI proposed that the Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) package, which will be included in the base benefit package, must be reviewed and updated at least every 3 years.
  • During the pre-authorisation process, members should explicitly be told whether their choice of service provider or treatment course has additional cost implications and what alternatives are available.

The provisional report will be open for public comments for a period of two months.

The final report will be submitted to the Minister of Economic Development, by the end of 2018, and will be tabled in parliament.