Medical schemes regulator suspends five senior officials for alleged corruption

Picture: 123RF/SAMSONOVS
Picture: 123RF/SAMSONOVS

The medical schemes regulator has suspended five senior officials pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged corruption and unethical conduct, and will subject all its executives to a lifestyle audit, it announced on Thursday.

The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) said the suspended employees included two executives and three senior managers, but did not name them.

The suspensions raise questions about the legitimacy of inspections currently under way, recent decisions to place schemes under curatorship, and whether the regulator may have turned a blind eye to issues that warranted scrutiny.

The allegations include the irregular placement of schemes under curatorship, irregular appointment of service providers, irregular spending on service providers and having personal lifestyles not matched by salaries. Other allegations include having a close and corrupt relationship with entities regulated by the council, breaching the Public Finance Management Act, and colluding in the appointment of service providers.

“The CMS views these allegations in serious light. Therefore, these suspensions and investigations are in line without zero-tolerance to unethical conduct.

“We will not rest until information received has been investigated and based on the findings, appropriate steps will be taken. We also wish to make it clear that all CMS executives will be immediately subjected to a lifestyle audit,” CMS registrar Sipho Kabane said.

He was not immediately available for comment.

- BusinessLIVE