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Mediclinic News : HASA raises concern over OECD-WHO study on private hospital costs in SA

Title

HASA raises concern over OECD-WHO study on private hospital costs in SA

Date

2016-08-01

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News Description

CRITICAL CARE NEWS The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) says it is concerned that a study by the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) that claims private hospital costs in South Africa are expensive, continues to be presented publicly as fact. This is despite the criticism the study has received from independent actuaries, funders and hospitals to which the study group has evidently not responded to. The OECD-WHO study was first presented at the public hearings of the Competition Commission's Inquiry into Private Healthcare Costs earlier this year, and its conclusions were presented again at last month's BHF conference in Cape Town. According to HASA, the OECD study essentially measures affordability of private hospitals in a society that suffers among the highest Gini co-efficiencies in the world, and in which the vast majority of households receive very low incomes. In such a society, most goods and services can be considered expensive. Moreover, the study compares South African private hospital prices with a basket of OECD countries' public health systems. However, it fails to note that public sector prices in some of these countries are insufficient to cover costs and that these public health systems are therefore running at deficits, HASA says in a statement. "As further examples of the many concerns raised about the study, it fails to discuss the socioeconomic status of the private hospital sector and existence of a large public sector in which hospitals provide subsidised services to a majority of the population. Nor has the influence of the exchange rate on hospital input costs been adequately provided for. This, by the OECDWHO study group's own admission, is a severe limitation in the study. Further, the OECDWHO paper provides an ill-advised comparison of overseas national population based healthcare systems with a voluntary private healthcare system." HASA added that had the OECD study measured affordability of private hospitals among the markets they serve, it would have found that the affordability of private hospitals in South Africa compared favourably to those in OECD countries. Yet this fact is hidden in the study and the presentation made by the OECD. According to the association, it believes that the report, and the presentation made at the BHF conference, reflect a significant bias from the OECD that does not serve to advance the current healthcare debate, nor does its refusal to share the study's data. "As our country wrestles to correct a struggling healthcare system, informed and stringent researched opinions and viewpoints are always welcome. The healthcare debate though, is not well served by research that is questionable and could result in misperceptions. We would suggest that the OECDWHO work group successfully addresses the many concerns regarding its report before presenting it again in public,' HASA concluded.
Created at 2016/08/18 01:05 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2016/08/18 01:05 PM by Mediclinic