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Probe into medical aids racial profiling to begin on Monday

An investigation into alleged unethical practises by medical aid schemes will begin on Monday. Black and Indian medical professionals have accused medical aids of harassment and exploitation.

The Council of Medical Schemes will begin its inquiry on Monday. The hearings are expected to run from July to September.

In May, private medical practitioners took to the streets of Sandton, taking their grievances to Discovery Health offices. They accuse some medical aid schemes of racial profiling.

Optometrist, Dr Carol Mdluli locums at various practises and describes the discrimination she experienced. She says that when she locums at Togo Optical and puts a claim for R13 000, it gets paid, but when she puts in a claim of R6000 at her Soweto practice, it gets questioned.

Medical aids have been accused of bullying medical practitioners and withholding their payments.

Discovery denied the accusations. Discovery Health CEO, Dr Jonathon Broomberg, says that payments have nothing to do with race.

“This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with fraud and billing abuse; the abuse of claims submitted to medical schemes.”

Last week, the Human Rights Commission began a preliminary hearing to determine if a full inquiry should be launched.

On Monday the Council of Medial Schemes panel will begin its investigations and the full report will be released in November.


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