Chairperson of the panel investigating alleged racial discrimination by medical schemes, 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.
The Section 59 interim report found that major medical schemes Discovery, MedScheme and the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) committed unfair racial discrimination against Bblack, Indian and Coloured medical practitioners.
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:
Interim report into alleged doctor racial profiling by medical aids: