Private hospital group Life Healthcare is pressing ahead with its strategy of diversifying out of its traditional hospital base, in a bid to counter global trends of increasing regulatory constraints and pricing pressures, says CEO Shrey Viranna. Big funders, be they governments or private insurers, are also pushing for more patients to be treated as cheaper day-cases or on an out-patient basis, putting further pressure on hospital margins. “Regulatory pressures are a reality in every country,” said Viranna in an interview with Business Day on Tuesday. Life Healthcare began investing in non-acute services several years ago, ranging from rehabilitation to diagnostics, and these “general services” are now the fastest growing part of the South African business, said Viranna. The group was treating more day-cases in its existing hospital facilities, rather than launching new stand-alone day hospitals, as it was more cost effective, he said. Given the lack of growth in SA’s medical schem...

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