Let’s be frank: private hospital shares in SA aren’t a 10-bagger opportunity — or even a chance to double your money. But they do offer a healthy and market-beating medium-term return at a fairly low risk. That’s nothing to be sneezed at these days, given the Chinese regulatory rattle at Naspers/Prosus, sudden brittleness in the commodity boom, ominous dips in US markets and political noise ahead of the local government elections.

But the JSE’s three private hospital groups — Mediclinic International, Netcare and Life Healthcare Group — are all recuperating differently from the pandemic. So some stock-picking prescription is probably needed...

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