If you’re a member of a medical scheme, you are urged to attend your scheme’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Medical schemes hold their AGMs between April and August. Discovery Health, the country’s largest open scheme, will have its AGM on June 22, and the Government Employees Medical Scheme, the country’s biggest closed scheme, will have its AGM on July 31.

Participation in your scheme’s AGM is a right afforded members of medical schemes in terms of the Medical Schemes Act, Dr Sipho Kabane, the acting chief executive and registrar of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), says.

“It’s important that members use this opportunity to make their voices heard. By so doing, members can influence the course taken by schemes on issues affecting their continued access to quality health care. It’s the right thing to do,” Kabane says.

Schemes generally issue a notice to their members regarding the details of their AGMs.

The notice should provide the date of the meeting, the agenda for the meeting, as well as the relevant supporting documents relating to the issues that will be discussed at the AGM.

The agenda for the AGM usually covers the following:

• A presentation on the annual financial statements;

• The appointment of external auditors;

• The election of people to serve on the board of trustees (where applicable);

• A report from the principal officer (from an operational perspective) and the chairperson of the board of trustees (from an oversight perspective); and

• Other matters, such as motions raised by members in writing prior to the meeting, and member-related concerns about the affairs of the scheme.

Before attending the AGM, you are encouraged to carefully read the information contained in the AGM information pack in order to get an understanding of the priorities of the scheme.

You also need to familiarise yourself with the rules of your medical scheme, because they provide you with an indication of how the AGM is conducted.

The scheme’s rules are available on your scheme’s website. Alternatively, you can request a copy of the rules directly from the scheme prior to the AGM.

The CMS publishes on its website (www.medicalschemes.com) the dates of the various schemes’ AGMs. For updates, “like” the council’s Facebook page and follow it on Twitter @CMSCares4u.