The Role of the Registrar of Medical Schemes
The Registrar of Medical Schemes is appointed by the Minister of Health and acts as Chief Executive of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS). Therefore, all medical aid members in South Africa should inform themselves about the Council, what is does and how the Registrar fits into the picture.
So, here goes. The CMS is a statutory body that:
- ensures compliance with the laws governing private health financing and
- sets rules and guidelines for the medical aid industry (there are more than 80 medical schemes in South Africa).
A Board, also appointed by the Minister of Health, governs the CMS. The Board is responsible for determining overarching policy and strategy. Broadly speaking, the CMS aims to:
- Promote access to quality medical scheme cover
- Ensure good governance of medical schemes and that the CMS informs and protects members
- Ensure the CMS provides fair and efficient services
- Provide input to support and improve government health policies.
Registrar of Medical Schemes – Role and Functions
As Chief Executive of the CMS, the Registrar of Medical Schemes must also support the statutory objectives of the CMS. The Medical Schemes Act determines these. These include the following:
- Protecting the interests of medical aid schemes and their members
- Monitoring financial soundness of such schemes
- Oversight of the functions of medical aid schemes in line with national health policy
- Investigating complaints and disputes that may arise
- Gathering and sharing information about private health care in South Africa
- Setting rules for the functioning of the CMS (in line with the Medical Schemes Act)
- Making recommendations to the Minister of Health for measurement of services provided by medical schemes.
The Registrar is responsible for administering CMS decisions and managing its staff. The current acting Chief Executive and Registrar is Dr Sipho Kabane. He was appointed acting head in February 2017 after the sudden death of the previous incumbent, Dr Humphrey Zokufa.
Contact the Council here.