SA's biggest hospital group, Netcare, has finalised the sale of two of its hospitals as it shifts focus towards mental health care. But this is only a part of the growth strategy for the group, which has its eye on an integrated, digitised system as the new frontier. Health-care companies in SA face a number of challenges, from regulation uncertainty to a tough economic environment, but the search for growth is perhaps the biggest challenge in a mature hospital market. This week, Netcare announced it had sold its Rand Hospital in Johannesburg and Bell Street Hospital in Krugersdorp to burgeoning hospital group RH Bophelo, for R124m. The deal is part of Netcare's agreement linked to its acquisition of mental health-care facility group Akeso Clinics for R1.3bn. Akeso has facilities in the Western Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal and the acquisition presents a growth opportunity in an area where Netcare didn't have a presence. "The acquisition of Akeso is a major positive st...

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