Labour union, NEHAWU has announced that it will be picketing against the high cost of private healthcare in front of Netcare’s headquarters in Sandton on Friday. The protest will be part of a series of actions the union is planning against what it termed, “the prevalent profiteering in the private health industry”.

In a statement, Nehawu called on South Africans to support the action “as a bold statement to the private healthcare sector”.

“To the extent, the private provider industry shall continue to operate under the NHI, we are determined that there is appropriate intervention by the authorities to ensure that there is an end to the oligopoly in the providers’ market,” the union noted, adding that it would press for appropriate regulation of healthcare costs  to ensure value for money and affordability for all.

This follows only a week after it urged the Competition Commission to take tough action against the private sector following the release of the Health Market Inquiry’ s report on the private healthcare sector.  

According to the union, the findings of the report underscores the necessity and urgency to introduce the NHI because of its findings that the private sector is “inefficient, wasteful, without value for money or proof of quality care”.  It however slammed the HMI’s recommendations, saying they are “outmoded, and irrelevant in the context of South Africa’s move to universal health coverage that will require a single-payer, integrated system.