Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
19 Jan 2021
11:31 am

Gems, BHF lose bid to halt report containing scathing allegations of racism

Siyanda Ndlovu

The independent panel also found that medical aid schemes and administrators were withholding payments to black and Indian doctors on the perception of fraudulent claims.

Picture for illustration: iStock

The Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) and the Board of Healthcare Funders’ (BHF’s) bid to block the release of the panel report by advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi on racial profiling of doctors has been struck off the roll by the Pretoria High Court.

The report was due to be released on Sunday, only to be blocked by Gems and BHF’s urgent application at the 11th hour.

Ngcukaitobi, advocate Adila Hassim, and Kerry Williams were appointed by the Council for Medical Schemes back in 2019 to probe allegations by the National Health Care Professional Association (NHCPA) of unfair treatment by medical schemes.

Gems filed the application urgently stating that the report was halted because it was going to seriously harm its reputation.

UPDATE: Damning allegations of racism by medical schemes released

The High Court in Pretoria found that the application had no urgency. She questioned why the medical scheme did not query the report before.

In its application, Gems said it was informed of the report’s findings which said some procedures being followed by the scheme were unfair and that black providers were unfairly discriminated against on the grounds of race.

The independent panel also found that medical aid schemes and administrators were withholding payments to black and Indian doctors on the perception of fraudulent claims.

The judgment in Pretoria has now given the panel the go-ahead to release its findings.

ALSO READ: Medical schemes: can’t live with them, can’t live without them

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