Doctors accused of price-fixing to treat premature babies in ICU

14 June 2016 - 09:22 By KATHARINE CHILD

If your baby is born prematurely and needs intensive care treatment, you are likely to be charged more. Doctors have been accused by the Council for Medical Schemes of price-fixing when treating premature babies in ICU.The accusations arise from billing guidelines released in 2010 by the SA Medical Association, which said paediatricians treating premature babies in intensive care could charge 50% more than they would charge for normal weight and aged babies.But the Council for Medical Schemes' advocate Steven Budlender, challenging the guidelines at the Competition Tribunal, argues that doctors should be competing with one another and not setting prices.He asked that the SA Medical Association be fined for price-fixing if found guilty.The Council for Medical Schemes is representing the medical aids. Many have paid extra for the treatment of premature babies.

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