The Competition Commission has confirmed that it is considering the Board of Healthcare Funders’ application for exemption in relation to collective bargaining.

This is good news for the BHF because the matter has long been delayed. The BHF applied for exemption as one of the efforts of making healthcare affordable and accessible.

When collective bargaining was scrapped, it was replaced by the National Health Reference Price List, but that also fell away when hospital groups challenged it. This created a price vacuum, leaving patients worse off. This is something that has been acknowledged in the industry, including the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS).

There has been a delay in implementing the recommendations released in 2019, and that is why the BHF has applied for exemption. (Read the Health Market Inquiry Report released in 2019 here)