Competition Commission seeks redress from Medical Aid Funds
Medical Aid Funds and the voluntary industry regulator, the Namibian Association of Medical Aid Funds (Namaf) are in for a bout of legal jostling following the dismissal of an appeal to set aside an earlier ruling of the Namibian Competition Commission.
The Chief Executive of the Competition Commission, Mihe Gaomab II said late in March “Following this judgement the Commission intends to now file its application interdicting NAMAF and the Funds from engaging in the unlawful conduct and to seek further appropriate redress mechanisms.”
The appeals case in the Supreme Court was widely seen as a means test to determine the legal authority of the Competition Commission over medical aid.
The Supreme Court delivered its judgement in the case: Namibian Association of Medical Aid Funds and Others v The Namibian Competition Commission and Another, in the last week of March.
On 01 April, Gaomab said “On 07 December 2014, the Commission concluded its investigations against NAMAF and 10 Medical Aid Funds in which it found that NAMAF and its fund members contravened section 23(1) read with sections 23(2) (a) and section 23 (3) (a) of the Competition Act.” “Shortly after the Commission’s decision was published in the Government Gazette, NAMAF and the Funds brought an application before Court wherein they contest the Commission’s jurisdiction on the basis that neither NAMAF, nor the Funds could satisfy the definition of an ‘undertaking’ as defined in the Competition Act. The Commission opposed this application. NAMAF’s application was argued in the High Court on 26 November 2015. The High Court, in its judgement dismissed NAMAF and the medical aid funds’ application and agreed with the Commission’s arguments by ruling that NAMAF and medical aid funds are subject to the jurisdiction of the Competition Act.”