At the Hospital Association of SA 2017 Conference in September, two private hospital CEs and the head of the largest medical funder in the country laid to rest the myth that the private sector is implacably opposed to universal healthcare. In their presentations, the CEs offered practical support to the several interventions identified by the Department of Health as it begins its first steps towards quality healthcare for all — specifically maternal and women’s health, school health, the screening and treatment of paediatric cancer, the elderly and disabled, and mental health screening. Among other suggestions, Netcare Group CEO Dr Richard Friedland pointed to his group’s success in developing high-volume and low-cost cataract treatments in the UK, offering to make his group’s expertise available here. Koert Pretorius, CEO of Mediclinic Southern Africa, suggested that in addition to the private sector making private hospital capacity available to the public sector, it could help era...

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