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SA’s medical regulator fires more top managers, raising capacity concerns

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South Africa’s medical schemes regulator has taken the shock decision to terminate the services of all but three of the senior managers reporting to its CEO, reports Business Day. The hollowing out of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) raises questions about its capacity to oversee the R160bn industry, which provides cover to 8.9m people, or 15.6% of the population.

The report says the latest development follows a series of events that rocked the regulator. In February, it suspended its head of compliance and investigations, Stephen Mmatli, pending the conclusion of an investigation into alleged corruption. In July, the Special Investigating Unit launched a probe into the CMS for alleged maladministration and corruption. And in September, the CMS suspended five senior officials pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged corruption and unethical conduct, and announced that it would subject all its executives to a lifestyle audit.

The report says it has now emerged that a sixth senior official has been suspended, and that only three of the 11-member management team that was in place in January 2019 will be at the helm at the start of the new financial year in April.

The report says CMS registrar Sipho Kabane declined to answer questions about the rationale for not renewing their contracts, as several staff had instituted legal proceedings at the CCMA and Labour Court.

Full BusinessLive report (Subscription)

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