Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday criticised the private healthcare sector, saying it is too costly and it must be regulated.
Motsoaledi was speaking to doctors at the South African Medical Association (SAMA) conference in Kempton Park, north east of Johannesburg.
He lamented what he called the “uncontrollable cost of private healthcare”.
This week, it emerged that all but one of the 20 medical schemes that were surveyed by an auditing firm welcomed an investigation into private healthcare costs.
Motsoaledi said prices in the private sector must be regulated and the public sector must be overhauled if the National Health Insurance (NHI) is to succeed.
“The prices in the private healthcare sector must be officially regulated. I know there’ll be people who will obviously complain, some have already started. They say the country has a mixed economy so we must leave the markets [to regulate the prices].”
The NHI aims to provide universal access to quality healthcare to every South African citizen.
But critics have questioned the plans of affordability and the current condition of state hospitals.
(Edited by Zethu Zulu)