When understanding fails

So Aaron Motsoaledi “has reiterated his position that private healthcare is exorbitantly priced, supporting recent findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

He goes on to state “Those that are here not only attacked the facts but also the methodology of the report. As for me, I will challenge anyone who says that there is no inequality.”

This comes after the HMI held a workshop yesterday where a number of parties pointed out flaws in the offending paper.

Minister Motsoaledi’s position is ridiculous, and I’ll tell you why.

How does one support research?  Pay for it.  Give access to data and other resources.  Educate and train researchers.  The way the honourable  Minister “supports” the OECD paper is the same way someone would support a sports team.  I suspect that he likes it because it makes a conclusion that fits his world view, and because it recommends price control as a way to make private hospital care more affordable.

Beware the law of unintended consequences.

This is not the way to set policy.  We need to understand what is really going on with the cost of private hospitalisation.  Then consider a number of alternative policy interventions, weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the best solution.

As the minister should know one must aim to treat the underlying condition, not only the symptoms.




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