Original Research

Market concentration trends in South Africa’s private healthcare sector

Marine Erasmus, Nicola Theron
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 1 | a1219 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i1.1219 | © 2016 Marine Erasmus, Nicola Theron | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 September 2014 | Published: 02 March 2016

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Marine Erasmus, Econex Pty Ltd, South Africa
Nicola Theron, Econex Pty Ltd, South Africa

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Abstract

The Competition Commission (CC) commenced with an enquiry into South Africa’s private healthcare sector at the beginning of 2014, the outcome of which could have far-reaching consequences for the medical industry in South Africa. The panel appointed to consider competition in the private healthcare sector has indicated that they are interested in understanding increased consolidation in the private hospital market and the effect this may have on competitive dynamics. This article considers historical concentration trends in the private hospital market from 2000 to 2012. In addition it also deals with changes in market structure in the medical scheme and administrator markets. These trends provide a complete picture of market structure changes and the implications for relative bargaining power of the various parties. It finds that whereas the market concentration of private hospitals has remained relatively stable since 2004, the market concentration of medical schemes and administrators has increased over this period.

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