Competition Commission nixes BHF, encourages medical fund oligopoly
Some cartels are more evil than others – and some are a force for good. One such was the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), the militant collective bargaining arm of medical aid funds. But the Competition Commission has declined to give it exemption from the Competition Act, for which it applied in 2007. That leaves the BHF unable to fulfil its purpose: handling the price-fixing of medicines and medical procedures. Hospital groups and pharmaceutical companies will be ecstatic, while very large medical schemes like Discovery won't care because they have the weight to negotiate bilateral treaties with doctors and hospitals just as if they were ordinary sovereign states. It is the smaller schemes who will suffer. With no hope to provide the same level of member value as the big schemes, their future now looks very much in doubt. Doubtless, the stratospheric cost of medical care is unlikely to get well soon, either. Read more: Fin24
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