The Health Market Inquiry (HMI) has confirmed that it will
release its Provisional Report on the private healthcare sector on Thursday, 5
July after Life Healthcare withdrew its objections related to confidentially
issues. 

The release was initially scheduled for tomorrow (28 June),
but the HMI Panel announced on Monday that it had to be delayed due to a
dispute with the private hospital group over confidential information.

In a statement released last night, the HMI says it is now
in the position to release the long-awaited report for public comment at a
media conference to be held at the Hilton Hotel, 138 Rivonia Road in Sandton.
The media conference will start at 10h00.

Details on the period allowed for public comment and
engagement on Provisional Report will be announced by the Panel Chair during
the media conference.

Stakeholders who wish attend the media conference are kindly
requested to register with the HMI and indicate the number of attendees at PaulinaM@compcom.co.za

The HMI will further live stream the media conference for
those stakeholders who are unable to attend in person. Details on live
streaming will be available on the competition commission website (www.compcom.co.za), on the day of the media
conference.

The findings and recommendations of the HMI led by former
Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo are expected to inform the Department of Health on
issues such as the pricing of services when contracting with private healthcare
providers in the NHI.

The investigation was initiated because the Competition
Commission said at the time that it had reason to believe that there were a
features in the private healthcare sector that prevented, distorted or restricted
competition.

The release of the four-year investigation’s preliminary
findings and recommendations has been delayed a number of times with the HMI
saying that it required the additional time to finalise the inputs of
stakeholders for integration into the provisional report so that it can reflect
the different views of role players in the private sector.