The release of the report into whether medical schemes and administrators use racial profiling when investigating fraud by medical professionals has been indefinitely delayed.
The investigation began in 2019 after a group of health workers accused medical administrators and medical schemes of scrutinizing only Black and Indian doctors and therapists for fraud while drawing a veil over the malpractices of White health professionals.
The hearings began in July 2019 and ended in January 2020.
The findings of the investigation were due to be released on 16 December.
However, just before the media conference to announce their findings, the investigating panel was told to hold off at the behest of Health Minister Zweli Mkhize as he was not yet briefed of the findings, Business Day reported.
The advocate trio, consisting of Adila Hassim, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, and Kerry Williams, then tried to meet the Health Minister and the medical scheme regulator to discuss the findings.
But the panel was not granted an audience with the Minister or the Council for Medical Schemes, despite requests, and have now been forced to delay the release of their findings indefinitely, the publication added.
Minister seeking clarity
There have been suggestions that Mkhize was blocking the release of the report, but the minister’s spokesperson Popo Maja dismissed that assertion.
“He’s engaging the authors and is really wanting clarity, rather than any other thing; there is no intent to block the report.”
Maja explained that the Mkhize was studying the report and its release date and recommendations would be made public once he was done.