The Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) says it remains committed to non-racialism and any form of discrimination, vowing to implement reform once the final report is released by the Section 59 Investigation Panel.
The Interim Report found that GEMS along with other medical schemes committed unfair racial discrimination towards Black, Indian and Coloured health care providers.
MedScheme topped the list with a discrimination percentage of up to 330%, followed by GEMS at 80% and Discovery at 3%.
The interim report has now been released for comment by affected parties before the final report is compiled, completed and released.
Principal Officer of GEMS, Dr Stanley Moloabi, has committed to working with healthcare providers to strengthen relations.
Moloabi says, “GEMS has a zero-tolerance to all forms of discrimination and we pledge to implement corrective action where such remedial interventions will be required based on the recommendations that will come out of the final report.”
“The task at hand would be to engage widely with healthcare providers and to strengthen the relationship with them and make sure that if there are any loopholes that have been identified, we work together to fix them so that all of us benefit out of this whole process,” added Moloabi.
GEMS responds to the Section 59 Interim report on racial profiling of medical practitioners:
Chairperson of the Section 59 Panel Adv Tembeka Ngcukaitobi says the Council for Medical Schemes (CSM) along with the Health Professions Council (HPCSA) have to be strengthened in order to institute oversight on medical schemes.
Ngcukaitobi says the medical schemes involved must immediately begin the process of reform and need not wait until the final report is released.
“We don’t wish the schemes to wait, they should start the reconstructive work internally but the regulatory bodies must work. One of the reasons why this became necessary was because the Council for Medical Schemes shows structural weaknesses, the Health Professions Council of SA also showed structural weaknesses. Those two bodies need to be placed in a position where they can function optimally,” says Ngcukaitobi.
“In relation to the investigation itself, most of the work is done. What we now need is constructive comments, we hope to finalise this in the next 6 weeks, once we have received those comments from the affected parties,” added Ngcukaitobi.
Discussion on Section 59 interim report:
GEMS and the Board of Healthcare Funders court application to block the public release of an interim report on racial discrimination against some doctors has been struck off the roll by the Pretoria High Court due to lack of urgency. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/Ozv0o4z9dD
— Sipho Stuurman (@Sipho_Stuurman) January 19, 2021
Interim report into alleged doctor racial profiling by medical aids: