Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed his support for the SIU probe into allegations of maladministration by some members of the CMS top management, the council said. File picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Pretoria - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed his support for the Special Investigations Unit's (SIU) probe into allegations of irregularities and maladministration by some members of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) top management, the council said on Sunday.

The CMS said in a statement that following a briefing on the latest developments at the CMS offices by the chairperson Clarence Mini and registrar and chief executive Sipho Kabane, Mkhize had said the cautionary suspension of the five officials over allegations of irregularities and maladministration following anonymous tip-offs on its hotline, and the section 59 investigation into alleged racial profiling of medical healthcare providers by medical schemes, would help the regulator properly ventilate all the issues raised.

“I am happy with the CMS initiatives. They demonstrate strong leadership and good governance in regulating the medical schemes for the benefit of their members and the industry as a whole. Good leadership means you tackle challenges head on,” Mkhize said, according to the CMS statement.

Mkhize had expressed confidence that the section 59 investigation, and its findings and  recommendations, would  assist the CMS in dealing with issues of fraud, waste, and abuse in the private medical sector, Kabane said.

The section 59 Investigation was initiated after complaints by members of the National Health Care Professionals' Association who said they had been unfairly treated and that their claims were being withheld by medical schemes "based on the colour of their skin and ethnicity".

On the issue of the whistleblower, Mkize had reiterated his full support for the investigation led by the SIU into the allegations of maladministration, corruption, and fraud levelled against members of the CMS's top management. “I believe that the regulator needs ethical and good governance,” the minister reportedly said.

Kabane had informed Mkhize that the employees, two executives and three senior managers, had all been placed on precautionary suspension with full pay, the statement said.

African News Agency (ANA)