Quinton Zunga. Picture: Freddy Mavunda
An investment banker has created a black-owned private health-care player that aims to put pressure on other private companies by providing more affordable care
Disrupting the status quo is never easy but Quinton Zunga, CEO of SA’s first black-owned-and-managed health-care listing RH Bophelo, plans to do just that.
SA’s private healthcare sector is dominated by an “old guard”, which holds an intricate monopoly over the sector and sets the standards and possibilities of what private health care should look like.
Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Healthcare tower over the sector, with their combined market cap of R150bn. About 20% of the population (mostly high-income earners) are served by these private companies, while those who can’t afford private care rely on crumbling state services.
Zunga (40) has limited experience in health care, but he says the market is ripe for the taking. “We have nothing to lose,” he says.
RH Bophelo will also serve as a home for newly qualified black doctors who, Zunga says, are almost always thrown into the deep end after qualifying and are expected to become entrepreneurs overnight.
RH Bophelo hopes its black economic empowerment status will give it access to concessions, including access to licenses, which the big three hospitals — Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Healthcare — have struggled to obtain. He says the company will also be open to collaborating with government to come up with innovative solutions — an approach that, he says, is a marked departure from the attitude of other private players.
Zunga aims to attract what he calls an untapped market. RH Bophelo will target the “missing middle”: consumers who cannot afford private care at current rates but are willing to pay for affordable quality care.
Source: 20 JULY 2017 – 06:11 by MICHELLE GUMEDE