South Africa

Bonitas reacts racism finding against some medical aid schemes

JOHANNESBURG - BONITAS Medical Fund has responded after the Council for Medical Schemes' finding that Discovery, Medscheme and the Government Employees Medical Scheme, had unfairly discriminated against black, Indian and coloured medical providers on the grounds of race.

Bonitas said it did not support racism and would continue to evaluate its processes with regards to fraud, waste and abuse, and had formed a special task team.

Lee Callakoppen, principal officer of Bonitas, said: “While the Section 59 proceedings were under way, we engaged in an independent analysis of the allegations through our governance structures, with oversight from the Board of Trustees.”

Callakoppen said Bonitas' analysis of claims data and irregularities was done on a data analysis level only, with no personal details of providers taken into account. This was overseen by a diverse and multi-disciplinary committee to review the analysis, prior to any investigative action commencing.

“This to ensure we make informed and fair decisions, free of favour or prejudice. Therefore, in light of the Interim Section 59 Report, we have undertaken to establish a special task team, with the specific aim of independently looking into the findings of the interim report and reevaluating our processes so they do not ascribe to bias,” he said.

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