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Access to quality healthcare at an affordable price is a critical priority for every family, and in society at large. South Africans lucky enough to afford private healthcare have rapid and convenient access to some of the best quality of care available anywhere in the world, provided by outstanding health professionals in the context of a robust, world-leading healthcare system. But the reality is that public and private healthcare systems around the world are grappling with rapidly rising healthcare costs, and South Africa is no exception. Discovery Health data indicates that, since 2008, total claims costs have increased by 11.4% per year – roughly 5% above the consumer price index (CPI) each year. Medical aids – non-profit funds by law – thus have little choice but to increase their premiums by about CPI plus 3%–4% each year to ensure they can sustainably pay claims. Our data shows the prices charged by doctors and hospitals are not a significant cause of this pattern of high cl...

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