The health department has defended its failure to implement the recommendations of the competition commission’s Health Market Inquiry (HMI), saying many of the issues identified in the organisation’s final report will be dealt with when National Health Insurance (NHI) is in place.

The inquiry spent five years investigating the private healthcare market and published its final report in September 2019, making far-reaching recommendations aimed at improving competition and giving patients a better deal. It said at the time that a better-regulated private sector was vital if the government was to purchase services from private healthcare providers under NHI...

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