“This is undoubtedly the best panel we could come up with. It has the right balance of skills, varied and distinguished experiences as well as impeccable integrity. In short we have the right panel for this important task for the nation and we look forward to its recommendations.” said Acting Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele in a statement.
While the inquiry probes the private healthcare sector to determine factors that restrict, prevent or distort competition and increase South Africa’s private healthcare prices and expenditures, the panel will gather evidence and insights through public hearings, reviews of secondary material, information requests, consultations and summons.
Five panellists have been selected and are as follows:
Former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo of South Africa and honorary Deputy President of the General Council of the Bar of South Africa. Ngcobo was involved in the student uprising of 1976 and also founded and directed the Legal Aid Services Clinic of the University of KwaZulu- Natal.
Professor Sharon Fonn, a medical doctor and registered public health specialist who is currently the acting Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University. Fonn was the professor and head of the School of Public Health at Wits University from 2003-2011.
Dr Nthuthuko Bhengu, holds a number of degrees including a MPH Healthcare Management degree from Harvard University. Bhengu has an in depth understanding of health care policy and management of corporations in pharmaceutical, bio technology, hospital and health insurance sectors.
Dr Lungiswa Nkonki, a senior lecturer at the University of Stellenbosh. She has published a number of articles in peer reviewed journals and has worked as a specialist scientist at the Medical Research Council.
Mr Cornelis van Gent, an economist with extensive experience in competition economics, economic regulation and competition in healthcare markets.
Ms Tamara Paremoer is the inquiry director for the market inquiry into the private healthcare sector. She first joined the Commission in 2008 as an economist in the Enforcement and Exemptions Division.
Paremoer’s research and professional background has afforded her the expertise in areas such as competition, regulatory economics, health systems and consumer facing industries across Africa.
The panel will also be supported by a team of investigators comprising of the Commission’’s economists, lawyers and expert consultants.
The market inquiry is expected to be completed by 30 November 2015.