The government has no plans to appoint the corruption-hit Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) as administrator of the National Health Insurance (NHI). GEMS has been hit by allegations of tender rigging, fraud, corruption and maladministration valued at more than R300m. News24 reports that this is according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize who told Parliament GEMS has fully complied with the investigation.
"It is estimated that there was fraud… the industry estimated that there was fraud of R22bn. GEMS is fully committed to the investigation. The investigation was done and the report that was tabled (was) brought to our attention and we were satisfied that enough work was done in relation to that matter. It did require that a lot of engagements has to happen with a number of stakeholders," he said.
News24 reports that Mkhize answered questions in the National Assembly along with other ministers in the social cluster.
"As part of meeting their regulatory obligations, the GEMS submitted forensic investigative reports to the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) for the alleged fraud and corruption. GEMS provided detailed action plans that were to be taken against the implicated officials, including disciplinary action for those who are still in the employ of the scheme and other legal action," Mkhize said.
He also said the process related to the NHI was ongoing. "The administration of the National Health Insurance is not going to be outsourced. The claim that GEMS is the preferred administrator is far-fetched. GEMS, like any other stakeholder, will be afforded an opportunity to present their proposals," Mkhize said.
[link url="https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/gems-wont-be-administrator-of-the-nhi-says-zweli-mkhize-amid-r300m-fraud-probe-20210311"]Full News24 report (Open access)[/link]