When addressing the Board of Healthcare Funders conference on July 30, the minister of health said he wanted the Competition Commission to allow medical schemes to enter into price bargaining negotiations with medical service providers.

Private health and schooling cannot be held responsible for the dismal functioning of state facilities.

In a democratic society, which is becoming less evident in this country, citizens with financial means are entitled to negotiate any, and all, services that they can afford to pay for. Private medicine falls into this category, and the introduction of negotiations for services rendered will introduce the element of competition, the latter being the key to reducing the costs of these facilities.

Instead of attempting to minimise, or even destroy, private healthcare, the government should encourage the maintenance of this excellent form of medical care in order to reduce their constitutional responsibilities to provide healthcare for SA’s people.

Dr AM Levin

Bryanston, Sandton