SA's largest hospital groups have rejected proposals that they be broken up in order to lower health-care costs, calling the idea drastic and "perhaps unconstitutional". In a bid to aid transformation and enhance competition in the market, the Health Market Inquiry, in its provisional report, has recommended divestiture and a moratorium on new licences for SA's biggest hospital groups, Netcare, Life Healthcare and Mediclinic Southern Africa. The inquiry, which was set up by the Competition Commission to investigate the private health-care sector, together with the National Health Insurance Bill and Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, has raised questions about the future of health care in SA, particularly in the private sector, as the government ramps up its efforts to provide affordable, quality service. Divestiture would see hospital groups letting go of or selling some assets or business units. However, the recommendation does not elaborate on how the divestiture could work. Speaking...

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