SA has one of the world's most expensive private healthcare systems – WHO

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South Africa has one of the most expensive private healthcare systems in the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) told a Competition Commission inquiry in Pretoria on Wednesday.

“Private hospital prices in South Africa are on par with prices in countries with much higher GDP levels – including the United Kingdom, Germany and France,” said Francesca Colombo, head of the WHO and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) health division.

South Africa spent 41.8% of total health expenditure on private, voluntary health insurance, more than any OECD country. However, only 17% of the population, mostly those with high incomes, could afford private insurance. 

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