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29 May 2013

More to healthcare than price: Discovery

People should look beyond just the price when analysing healthcare costs, Discovery Health has said.

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People should look beyond just the price when analysing healthcare costs, Discovery Health said.

"It is not just tariffs or prices. It’s also the volume of services that are consumed and those are impacted on by many factors. For example, the shortage of doctors, the growing burden of chronic disease, the new technology that is available in healthcare which comes at a high cost," Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg told reporters in Sandton.

Increase in use of services

"All of those factors contribute to a growing use of services, which is over and above the actual price impact on inflation.

"It is not just what is being charged [for healthcare] but also what is being consumed."

Broomberg said, on average, South African healthcare inflation was 3% above consumer price inflation.

"That is the pattern: it is high and it impacts on consumers, but it is not the highest in the world."

Broomberg said that in a recent international study on health inflation among 52 countries, South Africa was eighth lowest.

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