The lucrative earnings of trustees of medical aid schemes must be called into question.
DURBAN - The lucrative earnings of trustees of medical aid schemes must be called into question. A large chunk of medical aid contributions is spent on non-healthcare costs, including considerable payments to trustees.

Some trustees get up to R40000 or more to attend board meetings, despite many of them being unfit to sit on a medical aid board.

Forget about Bosasa - there is corruption in the medical industry.

There is no money for members’ benefits. The prices of medical scheme premiums continue to increase, and still members are expected to supplement the cost of certain procedures or medications out of their own pockets. Benefits increase by two and three percent increments, which means patients have to buy gap cover and have co-payments while trustee fees, salaries and perks go up by 10 and 12% per annum.

How many scheme members know how much is paid to trustees?

Medical scheme members are unable to make informed choices in the selection of health products (insurance, services and products) due to lack of transparency in the healthcare sector.

Medical aids pay billions a year, but much of this does not go to hospitals or doctors, but to brokers and administrators. Medical aid schemes end up denying medication to people when they’re obliged to pay under law, only paying for the bare minimum. They should be held accountable by the Council for Medical Schemes and the Competition Commission, but that’s not happening.

Soon members will not be able to afford the cover they need and will pay exorbitant costs for basic healthcare, which they could obtain at public hospitals at a fraction of the cost.

- THE MERCURY