medical scheme under pressure

THE Council for Medical Schemes is proceeding with its application to have Bonitas Medical Fund placed under curatorship.

THE Council for Medical Schemes is proceeding with its application to have Bonitas Medical Fund placed under curatorship.

The council (CMS) said last week the reasons for its application were clear and had been confirmed by independent investigations.

According to the CMS, irregularities existed in the governance of the scheme.

"Bonitas is not run as prescribed in the Medical Schemes Act (Act 131 of 1998) or in its own registered rules."

The CMS alleged that the board of trustees was neither fit nor proper to manage or control the affairs of the scheme. It added that the board did not appreciate the nature and extent of its duties and did not discharge its functions.

It failed to act with the necessary care, diligence, and skill required by the Medical Schemes Act and it had failed to act when action was required, the CMS said.

Furthermore, the board had never had proper control of the scheme, it had been negligent and it had breached its fiduciary duties towards the scheme and its beneficiaries, the CMS added.

The board also had contravened various provisions of the Medical Schemes Act as well as the rules of the scheme and it had failed to protect the interests of beneficiaries.

The matter began when the acting registrar of Medical Schemes Craig Burton-Durham, with the concurrence of the CMS, approached the Johannesburg high court in January this year asking for an urgent hearing to place Bonitas under curatorship

"The court was expected to hear the matter on March 9 but Bonitas opposed the application and approached the CMS with a proposal to settle the matter out of court."

The CMS said it had responded with a counter-offer which Bonitas had then rejected.

The scheme's administrator, Medscheme Holdings, then decided to belatedly join the proceedings with an interlocutory application.

It asked the court to disregard the inspection report which questioned its behaviour in relation to Bonitas.

A new hearing date was now awaited. - Sapa

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