Today's Labour News

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councilmedicalschemesBusinessLive reports that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has hit its first stumbling block over its proposed consolidation of all the medical schemes for public servants with the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems).  

The Public Servants Association (PSA) said on Tuesday that it had "serious reservations" about the plan.  The measure is contained in a CMS discussion document published last week, and is in line with the government’s white paper on National Health Insurance (NHI).  The PSA’s 242,000 members make up about a fifth of the public service.  The union claimed that Gems did not have the capacity to absorb more beneficiaries.  "Gems needs to be cleaned up first," said PSA spokesperson Tahir Maepa, who added that they have received numerous complaints about Gems, that its solvency ratio was below the statutory requirement of 25% and that it did not have the capacity to deal with rampant fraud.  Gems has about 1.8 million members and provides cover to more than half of all eligible public servants.  Maepa also warned that Gems was becoming a monopoly and that when it became the only medical aid for public servants, it “will do as it wishes."

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