Racial discrimination: Doctors call for decisive action

Doctors have welcomed an interim report calling out certain medical aid schemes for racial discrimination. The report follows the Council for Medical Schemes’ investigation into the matter. But a health professions coalition, representing various health associations, says it is not enough. eNCA’s Heidi Giokos reports. Courtesy #DStv403

 

JOHANNESBURG - Doctors have welcomed an interim report calling out certain medical aid schemes for racial discrimination.

The report follows the Council for Medical Schemes’ investigation into the matter. 

A health professions coalition, representing various health associations, says it is not enough. 

READ: Report on racial profiling of doctors released 

In 2019, they raised concerns about racial discrimination from medical aids. 

A recent interim report by the Council of Medical Schemes has found the claims to be true.

It discovered that black general practitioners were more likely to be identified as committing fraud, waste, and abuse of medical schemes than white GPs.  

Section 59 Health Dr Prudence Buthelezi said, “we already know what the medical aids use to do to black health professionals. It was racial profiling…they’d look at the invoice of the patient, when you see more than 50 patients they alert you as fraudulent, ask you <how much> time you spent with the patient."

COVID-19 has already been stressful enough for the healthcare practitioners but many couldn’t cope with being discriminated against as well. 

Dr Buthelezi said, “many are not with us they committed suicide after medical aid withhold their funds.”

READ: Medscheme denies racially profiling medical professionals

While the interim report has been welcomed, doctors are now calling for decisive action. 

They want the board of the Government Employees Medical Scheme to be removed.

The interim report found that GEMS was 80-percent likely to discriminate against black healthcare practitioners.

Meanwhile, the ANC has expressed concern about the report and has called on government to provide the necessary guidance to resolve the issue.

The Department of Health has yet to respond to the interim report.

Source
eNCA

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