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Johannesburg - South Africa’s Competition Commission will start its probe into the private-healthcare industry even as hospital operator Netcare objects to the use of accountants KPMG in the inquiry.

The investigating panel plans to make its initial findings and recommendations available for public comment in October 2015, Chairman Sandile Ngcobo said in a presentation to reporters in Johannesburg today.

This will follow public hearings planned for March and April next year.

“There is no interference,” Ngcobo said, when asked about the Netcare complaint.

“What we are saying is that the market inquiry has commenced.”

Netcare applied to the South Gauteng High Court in January to challenge the commission’s use of KPMG as its technical service provider because the consultant had also done work for the Johannesburg-based health company.

The inquiry aims to determine factors that restrict competition and cause rising private healthcare prices.

The panel was announced on January 30 to preside over the investigation and produce final recommendations to the regulator. - Bloomberg News