The Competition Commission’s long-running health market inquiry has delayed publishing its final report until March 29 2019, saying it needs more time to consider the extensive submissions it has received from stakeholders since it published its interim findings in July. It had hoped to publish its final report on Friday. The inquiry began in January 2014 and set out to investigate the barriers to effective competition in the private healthcare market and why annual healthcare inflation consistently outstrips consumer price inflation by several percentage points. The original deadline for the release of its final report was November 2015, but it has been repeatedly postponed — partly due to legal challenges, but also because it has been at pains to show it is taking heed of concerns raised by stakeholders at every step of the way. The inquiry has been conducted by a five-member panel chaired by retired justice Sandile Ngcobo.

The delay in the release of the final report will a...

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