SA’s three biggest private hospital groups make a significant contribution to the economy, generating R55.5bn, or 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), in 2016, delegates to the annual Hospital Association of SA (Hasa) conference heard on Tuesday. For every R100 of private hospital services delivered, SA’s GDP grew by R123, said Hasa chairwoman Melanie da Costa, citing preliminary findings from an economic multiplier study Hasa commissioned from economics consultancy Econex. Hasa is an industry body for private hospitals. The study underestimates the economic impact of the private hospital sector because it was based solely on data from SA’s three JSE-listed private hospital groups Netcare, Mediclinic International and Life Healthcare, and excluded the impact of independent private hospitals and those belonging to the National Hospital Network (NHN). Netcare has 57 hospitals, Life Healthcare has 64 and Medcilinic has 52, while NHN counts 208 facilities among its network, and there a...

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