The Mercury

Thebemed placed under curatorshi­p

Decision follows ‘persistent’ financial difficulti­es by the company


SOUTH Africa’s foremost black-owned and managed healthcare administra­tor, Thebemed Medical Scheme, was yesterday placed under provisiona­l curatorshi­p by the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) after the company ran into financial hardships.

Sipho Kabane, chief executive and registrar of CMS, said the decision followed “persistent” financial difficulti­es by the company.

“Because of the scheme’s financial difficulti­es and its failure to maintain the minimum statutory solvency ratio of 25 percent, as set out in regulation 29(2) of Medical Schemes Act, Ian Fleming has been appointed as the provisiona­l curator of Thebe Medical scheme until such time that it can maintain the minimum statutory solvency ratio,” Kabane said.

“The curator will assume control of the business of the scheme in order ensure proper corporate governance and attend to improving the solvency ratio of the scheme. There is therefore no need for any concern on the part of Thebemed members and service providers regarding the day-to-day operations of the scheme.”

As a Level 1 BBB EE contributo­r, Thebemed is the most black-empowered administra­tor in the country.

Thebemed is owned Thebe Investment Corporatio­n (TIC). TIC is regarded as one of the leading black economic empowermen­t firms with an investment portfolio of assets worth over R6 billion including investment­s in blue chip companies like Shell and Vodacom.

The group was founded in 1992 as a wholly owned entity of the Batho-Batho Trust establishe­d by anti-apartheid stalwarts Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Enos Mabuza and Beyers Naudé. TIC could not be reached for comment.

The CMS will continue to exercise statutory oversight regarding the affairs of the medical schemes, and to ensure that the interests of members of medical schemes are protected at all times. Small medical schemes are set to come under further pressure with the introducti­on of the contentiou­s National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. There are 29 medical schemes in the country with fewer than 6 000 members, and 26 of those are closed schemes, restricted to certain companies or industry sectors.

Ahmed Banderker, AfroCentri­c’s chief executive, said he hoped that sanity would prevail for a collaborat­ive approach to achieve a calm, cogent, phased introducti­on of a health system that achieves universal coverage.

“Given the current economic climate, the potential economic and employment impact of the NHI Bill on us as an employer, our staff and the lives we administer will remain of careful interest to us,” Banderker said.

“We are certain that numerous opportunit­ies will continue to exist for the developmen­t, testing and implementa­tion of mutually beneficial and innovative healthcare delivery models and solutions through partnershi­p.”

AfroCentri­c owns health companies such as Medscheme, medicines distributo­r Pharmacy Direct and drug manufactur­er Activo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa