Have you ever suspected that your extra day’s stay in hospital or costly medical procedure might not be necessary? Well, the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the private health market suggests this isn’t just paranoia.In its provisional report, released last week, the inquiry found that "overservicing" by medical practitioners and medical facilities is one of the factors driving up costs. To remedy this, it proposes a radical overhaul of the private health market.This includes creating a supply-side regulator to set tariffs for doctors and other practitioners, standardising medical aid scheme options and possibly limiting any new licences for the three big hospital groups — Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Healthcare.Coming in the wake of equally radical proposals in the National Health Insurance Bill and the Medical Schemes Amendment Bill, the far-reaching proposals could upend the way in which the health sector has operated for decades. For one thing, they will help "disempowered...

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