Today's Labour News

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GEMSDaily News reports that calls by private doctors and private ambulances and emergency services to have the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) scrapped is gaining momentum.  

The Educators Union of SA (Eusa) was the first to raise concerns about the scheme, and now the union’s call has been strengthened by the involvement of the National Healthcare Professionals Association (NHCPA) and the SA Private Ambulance & Emergency Services Association (Sapaesa).  The bone of contention is that medical aid claims are not being paid timeously, and members’ funds are exhausted within two months, without explanation.  On Thursday, Eusa members held a national picket outside Gems offices and, following this, private doctors and ambulance services joined the action.  Eusa president Scelo Bhengu said they wanted government employees to be afforded their constitutional right to choose which medical aid they wished to belong to.  In a six-hour meeting with Gems principals, the union demanded answers regarding delays in the payment of service providers and shortfalls, with some members being forced to pay a portion of their medical bills.  Some doctors require Gems members to pay cash up front.  Oliver Wright of Sapaesa claimed Gems was extremely disorganised in paying claims.

  • Read this report by Sne Masuku in full at Daily News

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