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Market Inquiry into Private Healthcare has cost R197m so far - Ebrahim Patel

Of this CompCom spent R37m on panel members, R39m on economic experts, R79m of HR and operational costs

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

WRITTEN REPLY

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION 3611

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23 November 2018

Dr M J Cardo (DA) to ask the Minister of Economic Development:

What is the (a) total amount spent by the Competition Commission on the Market Inquiry into the Private Healthcare Sector since its establishment in 2013 and (b) detailed breakdown of the amount spent by the Competition Commission on services provided by external (i) economists, (ii) lawyers, (iii) expert consultants and (iv) a certain legal firm (name furnished)? NW4182E

REPLY:

The Competition Commission set up a Market Inquiry under the current provisions of the Competition Act, in 2014 to consider the state of competition in the private healthcare market, covering a large number of services across the value-chain.

An independent Panel was appointed by the Commissioner to preside over the market inquiry, chaired by ex Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, and it engaged Experts as panellists and a number of specialists to support the Chairperson and Panel of Experts.

The Commission decided that a mix of skills would ensure that the Panel oversees and evaluates both legal (administrative, procedural) and technical (healthcare, health and competition economics) aspects of the inquiry. In addition to the mix of skills, the Commission also had to consider the independence of the various panel members. In particular, the Commission had to seek experts with relevant sector-specific experience that would not result in a conflict of interest. Details of the individual panel members appointed by the Commission to oversee the HMI are reflected in greater detail in Table 1 below:

TABLE 1: Panel members

Panellist

Reasons for selection

Chief Justice Ngcobo (Rtd)

Justice Ngcobo, in his capacity as the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court was the head of the judiciary in the Republic of South Africa.

Dr Cees van Gent (Netherlands)

Dr van Gent has both competition economics, regulatory and health economics experience from the Netherlands. Unlike locally based competition economists, he has not presided over any matters that may be reviewed during this inquiry.

Professor Sharon Fonn

Professor Fonn is the Dean of Health Sciences at Wits. She brings sector and system-wide experience.She is a well-respected academic with extensive publications.

Dr Ntuthuko Bhengu

Dr Bhengu has public and private sector experience. He has also worked in nearly all parts of the private healthcare sector, bringing experience from all relevant markets.

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki

Dr Nkonki holds a PhD in health economics. She is an academic and has no conflicts of interests in the sector.

The total amount spent by the Competition Commission on the Market Inquiry into the Private Healthcare Sector since its establishment in 2013 amounts to R196 949 637.

The detailed breakdown is as follows (Table 2):

Table 2: cost breakdown

No

Description

Amount

1

Legal Expertise & Litigation

R12,537,881.16

2

Healthcare Sector Experts

R5,627,139.65

3

Data Warehousing & Actuarial Services

R13,486,040.63

4

Data De-Identification & Security

R9,598,784.61

5

Economics Experts

R38,959,579.39

6

Media and Communications

R1,391,211.99

7

Panel Members

R36,794,302.06

8

Human Resources and Operational costs

R78,554,697.51

Total

R196 949 637

In respect of the Panel Members, payments were made as follows (table 3):

Table 3: Payments made to Panel Members.

Panel Members

Total

Justice Sandile Ngcobo

R5 929 016

Dr Ntuthuko Melusi Bhengu

R9 716 935

Cees Van Gent

R11 748 087

Dr Sharon Fonn

R3 328 763

Dr Lungiswa Nkonki

R6 071 501

In respect of the specific query in the Parliamentary Question regarding a certain law firm, I am advised that Ndzabandzaba Attorneys were not appointed to represent the Commission in the Market Inquiry and accordingly no monies were paid to them.

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