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When Advanced Health began building its day hospital business in SA about five years ago, it had one goal: to provide an alternative to expensive hospital stays for patients and, in turn, medical aids. SA faces rising health-care costs and a growing divide between the one-fifth of the population who can afford private health care and the rest, who rely on a strained public health system. Despite high health-care costs — so high, they have triggered a market inquiry — the Pretoria-based company's cheaper alternative to overnight hospital stays hasn't gained as much traction as it has enjoyed in the Australian market. Day hospitals have been a tough sell in SA as patients and doctors are used to most surgeries taking place in acute hospitals. Advanced Health's lack of market penetration has seen its Alt-X-listed shares tumble more than 57% in the five years since listing. It now trades at about 59c. With shares under pressure and cash running out, the company is struggling to open new...

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