Medical aid sunk me, says pharmacist

Moloko Mokoditoa stands in front of one of his closed pharmacies  in Atteridgeville,  Pretoria. / SUPPLIED
Moloko Mokoditoa stands in front of one of his closed pharmacies in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. / SUPPLIED

A pharmacist who once owned four successful businesses and employed 46 people, watched his empire crumble following a long cat and mouse battle with giant medical aid company, Polmed.

The company allegedly refused to pay him R1.6-million for medicine he had issued to its members.

Polmed has disputed his claims. Moloko Mokoditoa, 41, of Pretoria East, claims the company ignored the Council of Medical Schemes' (CMS) 2012 ruling in his favour, instructing the firm to pay him all the monies he lost in 2010.

Mokoditoa, who owned two pharmacies in Pretoria's CBD, and another two in Atteridgeville, bought medication from other companies on credit. He settled the bills with payments he got from medical aids for dispensing medicine to their members.

His problems started in 2010 when Polmed allegedly blocked payments for his claims for eight months. He launched a complaint with the council which ruled in his favour. "They [Polmed] suspected that my claims could have been fraudulent and they demanded that I supply them with all the subscriptions from their members. "I handed them more than 10000 subscriptions," said Mokoditoa.

He followed this up with proof of purchase invoices to show he did not get the medicines illegally.

In September 2016, Polmed paid him R330684 which he said was only a fraction of the R1.6-million he had lost, which he said had escalated to more than R3-million with interest.

"I had to let go of my staff. My car was repossessed by the bank. My savings started depleting. In 2014 I was hospitalised for a month for depression," said the father of three.

Mokoditoa was out of work for seven months before he got a job with a corporate pharmacy in Mamelodi in 2014, where he currently works.

Polmed's acting principal officer, Mashudu Sadiki, said the matter was concluded last year when the company paid Mokoditoa R330684 in September.

"We chose to pay him and avoid the long, legal, costly route, but it now appears that he got greedy and wants more money from us through CMS, which has recently requested more documents from us.

"We don't owe this guy anything," said Sadiki.

CMS did not respond to questions sent to them.