The Competition Commission’s health market inquiry (HMI) has extended the deadline for publishing its final report to September 30, the latest in a series of delays to the five-year probe. While the inquiry does not have the legal power to implement regulatory changes to the health sector, its final recommendations are important because they are likely to influence policies implemented by the department of health. The delay is also likely to hold up work on the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, which the health department has previously said will be revised and submitted to parliament only after the HMI’s final report has been published. The HMI began in January 2014, and was tasked with establishing whether there were barriers to competition in the private healthcare sector and impediments to patient access. It originally aimed to publish its final report and recommendations by November 2016. After a series of delays due to legal and technical challenges from stakeholders, it publish...

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