Trade union to launch own medical fund

Trade union Solidarity is introducing its own medical fund in a move against what it called “high medical rates”, it said on Wednesday.

The fund, Solvita, has been approved by the Registrar of Medical Funds and will target nearly 130 000 Solidarity members.

“It’s a non-profit service. We don’t want to make millions out of the sick, but make private healthcare more accessible to the people of South Africa,” said Jaco Kleynhans, Solidarity spokesperson.

He declined to disclose further details, saying more information would be given at the launch of the fund later on Wednesday.

The launch of the scheme comes as the spotlight falls on private hospitals after they proposed fee hikes of between 8% and 33% a year, prompting health authorities to seek an explanation for increases.

Talks between Health Ministry and private hospital groups are still under way. — I-Net Bridge

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