Today's Labour News

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councilmedicalschemesBusinessLive reports that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has proposed consolidation of all medical schemes for public servants into the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) in line with government policy on National Health Insurance.  

The proposal is contained in a discussion document released for public comment on Wednesday and is likely to run into opposition from industry players and public servants alike.  The state contributes significantly to public servants’ medical scheme contributions.  It is said that unionised workers are likely to resist moves they see as a threat to their current benefits.  The CMS identified 10 schemes that could be amalgamated with GEMS, including those of state-affiliated entities such as the SABC and Rand Water.  It said that consolidating public sector medical schemes with GEMS offered potential savings - a larger scheme would have more negotiating power with health-care providers.  Wits University professor Alex van den Heever panned the council’s latest proposals, saying they were at odds with the health market inquiry’s interim findings, published in July.

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