The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has issued tariff guidelines for medical professionals, to protect patients from being overcharged, according to a report on Wednesday.
Business Day reported that the HPCSA published the document to give the public estimates of what medical and dental procedures should cost.
"It is hoped that this new guideline will empower patients to understand what they will be charged for... treatments and procedures in a transparent manner...," said HPCSA spokeswoman Bertha Scheepers.
It would also provide guidance for practitioners, so that their patients could be forewarned of the prices of treatments and not accuse the medical fraternity of unethically overcharging them.
The HPCSA had no mechanism in place to weigh up consumer complaints over high bills, since its "ethical tariff" guide was shelved in 2008.
The committee which determined the new set of tariffs had used the National Health Reference Price List of 2006, and had adjusted these prices for inflation.
While the tariffs did not set limits on what doctors, dentists and specialists could charge for their services, patients would be able to make an informed decision based on the guide.
"They can 'shop around' for the best price or decide they are willing to pay an amount higher than the tariff guideline by signing a consent form," Scheepers said.