Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says medical aid schemes cannot withhold payments that are due to medical practitioners. He urged schemes to follow the law.

Motsoaledi’s comments come after claims of racial discrimination in healthcare. On Wednesday the Council of Medical Schemes said it would probe the allegations that Indian and black healthcare practitioners are not treated the same as their white counterparts.

The row in the healthcare sector is getting attention from high up. The Health Minister has now weighed in to clarify the legal standing in the dispute.

“There are two issues, fraud and this issue and we can’t use vigilantism, I strongly discouraged it. The founder the medical schemes can’t use vigilantism to get back money, they have to follow the law, entrapment, there are law enforcement agencies, having said so this part of black and Indians,  I am not sure of it.”

Motsoaledi also highlighted that schemes can’t request confidential patient information.

“I am here to announce publicly; no doctor must submit confidential info to third parties, even I am not allowed to do so. Only if a patient gives written consent, and when you’re instructed to do so by a court of law. Any doctor who is instructed to hand over confidential information to a third party cannot do so, I regard medical schemes as a third party. A funder can’t be part of a treatment protocol of a patient, their job is to fund, no doctor should do that, this will destroy the healthcare system of the country.”

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