Instead of refunding expectant mother Portia Goaba the money that she paid her doctor, Bonitas Medical Aid has kept asking her to either refax her bank details and copy of her identity book or her husband's details.
"I was told that the money would be put in my account on Thursday because the ac-counts department paid out claims on Thursdays only. I called them again and they said they needed my bank details again. As I was holding, Laura from the call centre found the documents, but they had not been sent to the accounts departments, meaning I would have to wait another week."
The medical aid claims that it refunds doctor's bills within two weeks. But at this rate, Goaba's baby will have been born long before her refund is paid into her account.
Bonitas Medical Fund general manager Tim Rametse said: "We have listened to all the tapes, and we have identified errors in the initial customer interface process. We obviously need stricter control of what the customer care people are doing, and that the information we give principal members is passed on to dependants. Ms Goaba should receive payment on the 26th. "
An independent analyst said: "Most people get so fed up with medical aids that they don't even report their cases. The problem is with administration - a lot of the clerical staff feel overwhelmed by the cases that come to their desks. So they just hide some of the files once they've reached their daily quotas, and it is the poor clients who suffer."