The Competition Commission’s health-market inquiry would not accept a controversial report on private hospital prices commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) because it failed to provide the underlying data, it announced on Thursday. The move not only asserts the inquiry’s commitment to evidence-based analysis, but would have dealt a blow to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who has publicly promoted the report as it supports his conviction that private healthcare services are overpriced. The inquiry was formed to establish whether there are barriers to competition and access to the private healthcare market. When it began public hearings, the WHO submitted a report that it had commissioned from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which found South African private healthcare prices were similar to those in OECD countries, but were much less affordable. Private hospital groups subsequently challenged the report and made submissions to the in...

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