BONI­TAS MED­I­CAL FUND

Health­care to Live Your Best Life

Africa Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Phoebe Calver | Project Man­ager: Josh Mann

Mak­ing the most of your med­i­cal plans

he vast ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses in South Africa are re­quired to be ex­tremely ag­ile when it comes to adapt­ing to a chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment, and the health­care in­dus­try is no ex­cep­tion to this rule.

Hav­ing just en­tered its 36th year in the health­care in­dus­try, Boni­tas Med­i­cal Fund is a great suc­cess story. The Scheme has evolved over the years from an ini­tial mem­ber­ship base that was com­prised ex­clu­sively of black civil ser­vants, to the open med­i­cal scheme it is to­day.

“The im­por­tant change to an open­scheme oc­curred in 1995 and since that point we have gone from strengthto-strength,” ex­plains Ger­hard van Em­me­nis, Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cer at Boni­tas Med­i­cal Fund. “We are cur­rently the sec­ond largest open scheme in South Africa and cover more than 700,000 lives.

“Although our Scheme has grown in terms of num­bers, we have also de­vel­oped to pro­gres­sively of­fer in­no­va­tive ben­e­fits to our mem­bers to en­sure that health­care is both more af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble for all.”

Per­haps the big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing the pri­vate health­care sec­tor at present is the ris­ing costs sur­round­ing it, and sub­se­quently med­i­cal schemes need to be proac­tive in cur­tail­ing those fees.

“Health­care in­fla­tion con­tin­ues to out­pace gen­eral in­fla­tion by ap­prox­i­mately five per­cent, which we recog­nise is reach­ing a point that will en­dan­ger med­i­cal aid by mak­ing it pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive for the pub­lic,” con­tin­ues Van Em­me­nis. “We can­not sim­ply say that this is not our fault or our prob­lem, in­stead we need to con­stantly be look­ing for dif­fer­ent meth­ods in or­der to con­tain the costs as much as pos­si­ble.”

“The health­care in­dus­try is an in­creas­ingly com­plex en­tity, while also be­ing in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive. We have wit­nessed nega­tive growth for the in­dus­try in re­cent years pri­mar­ily due to health­care in­fla­tion escalations. This has sub­se­quently created a cut­throat en­vi­ron­ment in which we

Although our Scheme has grown in terms of num­bers, we have also de­vel­oped to pro­gres­sively of­fer in­no­va­tive ben­e­fits to our mem­bers to en­sure that health­care is both more af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble for all

Ger­hard van Em­me­nis, Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cer at Boni­tas Med­i­cal Fund

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