Bestmed Medical Scheme is committed to Good Corporate Governance

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The Council of Medical Schemes (CMS) informed Bestmed, on Thursday, 13thNovember 2014, that nine members of the scheme’s current Board of Trustees would be removed from office with immediate effect.
According to Dries la Grange, CEO of Bestmed, although these members have been removed, the registered rules of the scheme make provision for the immediate filling of vacancies by the remaining members of the board. As such, the board has been reconstituted, and is fully functional. It will meet during the week of 24thNovember to elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and statutory committee members.

La Grange comments to the ruling, “During 2011 the CMS carried out a routine inspection at Bestmed. The scheme has, since then, been actively engaged with the CMS in addressing the concerns raided during the inspection, and the directives issued by it.

Furthermore, states La Grange, “Bestmed was never called in by the CMS, which left us with the belief that all the matters raised had been dealt with. We did not expect the CMS to revert with the action taken on 13th November 2014, more so, when one considers that three years have passed since the initial routine inspection occurred. Under these conditions we find it improper that such a drastic action, delivered without any engagement with the affected trustees, was taken.

“What has become a significant concern is that, it has come to our attention that the CMS has released information to the public concerning this action that inter alia contains serious inaccuracies in relation to amounts apparently spent inappropriately and makes no mention of monies recovered where the scheme’s board and management believed this was necessary to protect our members’ interests.

The Scheme reported these matters to members at the AGM in 2012 and again in 2014.

Bestmed’s current status reflects a scheme with a healthy risk profile, tight governance, with one of the lowest administrative costs in the industry, and has more than sufficient reserves. Furthermore the annual contribution increases over the last three years has been in the lower quartile of the medical scheme industry.

“Our members have, at all times, been able to see from the tight management of the scheme’s total non-healthcare costs that their funds were used responsibly in growing the scheme, in a manner that is beneficial to them,” adds La Grange.

These achievements have all been made possible by a competent and diligent Board of Trustees, the scheme’s executives and employee complement.

In order to strengthen scheme governance, new principles for marketing expenditure were tabled at the AGM during May 2014, which the members approved by a huge majority vote. Again an action by the same Board of Trustees.

Bestmed has instituted urgent legal action against the Council of Medical Scheme.

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