The health-care market is in an interesting state of evolution, as its increasing success in treating the punters throws up all manner of unintended consequences. Populations are getting ever older and more expensive to treat, and tough decisions about the affordability and appropriateness of heroic interventions have to be made and weighed against the possibility of achieving a meaningful improvement in quality of life. These are ethical issues that few governments have even begun to approach. But from the perspective of a hospital group such as Life Healthcare, the focus must be on providing the best care it can, and the company’s mission statement says it aims to improve the lives of people by delivering high-quality, cost-effective care. The company’s interims show a welcome return to form by the group, which is starting to build real scale in its operations in SA, the UK, Poland and the rest of Europe. The only disappointment was the performance of its Indian unit. In Southern ...

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