SABC News - SA owed millions by Lesotho over health services rendered :Saturday 12 March 2016
 
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SA owed millions by Lesotho over health services rendered

Saturday 12 March 2016 07:31

Thabile Mbhele

The Netcare hospital group has 113 hospitals in the United Kingdom and Southern Africa.(SABC)

South Africa is currently owed R86 million by Lesotho for health services rendered at two of its public hospitals in the Free State province.

This has been revealed by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when he made his submissions before the Health Market Inquiry in Cape Town on Friday.

The inquiry is investigating the cost of private healthcare in South Africa.

The Netcare hospital group has 113 hospitals in the United Kingdom and Southern Africa.

One of those is in Lesotho, the Queen Mamahato Memorial Hospital.

Melanie Da Costa the Director of Strategy and Health Policy at Netcare explained how Netcare is assisting the Basotho people by providing quality healthcare at lower costs compared to South Africa.

Da Costa says they are able to procure drugs and surgical at government tender prices, significantly different prices to what South Africa gets.

"You will be surprised to know that, let's call that consumables are a crazy 14 times lower than we charge here in SA, but I've got to just contextualize that.  The acuity is different, people are not getting high end prosthetics there is a lot of medical cases perhaps, it is structurally different to the cost that we are experiencing in SA," says Da Costa.

Da Costa criticized a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development which concluded that private healthcare in SA is among the most expensive and un-affordable in the world.

Da Costa spoke about the latest hospitals built by Netcare including Waterfall in Midrand and the Polokwane Hospital.

However, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says it is questionable how the licences for the two hospitals ended up with Netcare.

Motsoaledi says contrary to what Netcare has presented, the contract with Lesotho has plunged the country into financial distress.

He says the Minister of Health in Lesotho, Molotsi Monyamane, is relying on the South African  government for assistance to get out of the contract.

The public hearings will now be held in Durban in May.

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