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Sizwe Medical Fund under provincial curatorship

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Sizwe Medical Aid and Scheme information.

Years of Caring for the Health of a Nation

In 1978, forty years ago, a progressive, non-discriminatory medical aid fund, Sizwe Medical Fund was born.

Founded by pioneering medical doctors and professionals – black and white – the Fund is essentially a South African company that in many ways mirrors a South African story.

So where did it all begin? In the late 1960s, black (African) doctors from the Witwatersrand (Pretoria, Johannesburg, East Rand and Vereeniging), formed themselves into The South African Medical Discussion Group (SAMDG). The

group discussed matters of interest in respect of black doctors and their patients. The group was driven by genuine care of their patients, and understood that every South African deserved to be medically covered especially for medical conditions that required specialist doctors. Black specialists could only work as General Practitioners (GPs) with specialist qualifications, as specialist fees were only affordable to medical aid members.

In 1976, the SAMDG appointed its first executive committee chaired by Dr. Mzamane from Katlehong in the Eastrand. In the same year (1976), one of SAMDG members, Dr. Mokgesi, who practiced from Sebokeng, met a white colleague, Dr. Loots at a clinical meeting at the Johannesburg General Hospital where they agreed explore registration of a medical aid scheme and to start a private hospital that would be primarily targeted at the black population.

Once agreed by SAMDG members, Dr. Motlana, an influential leader in black circles and highly respected by business leaders and politicians in South Africa, assumed leadership as chairman of the group. In his capacity as the chairman, he proposed an idea of black doctors taking up shares in the proposed medical aid, and also negotiated with white business to support the initiative. In 1978, the Kwacha Group (Kwacha meaning ‘Day Break’ in Chewa – a Malawian language), a precursor to the Sizwe Medical fund was registered with 38 shareholders. Dr. Loots was the only white shareholder and also served on the board of directors. Sizwe Medical Fund was registered after shareholders had raised R3 million as security to meet medical claims. The proposed private hospital, Lesedi Clinic also opened its doors soon after Sizwe Medical Fund started operating. The Kwacha Group was later changed to Sechaba Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd, and again later to Sizwe Medical Fund. In establishing the Fund, the objectives of the Group were

  • To provide medical aid cover for blacks
  • To lead the black population in matters of healthcare
  • To enable black specialists to open private practice
  • To give black private patients and their doctors access to X-rays, other investigations and expensive medications which were out of reach for virtually all who had no medical aid cover

The first members of Sizwe Medical Fund were drawn from the Barlow Rand Group, Iscor, PUTCO, steel companies and coal mining companies in Witbank and Middleburg as well as motor industry workers from Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. The leadership of the Group had tried unsuccessfully to get the political leadership of the time to allow black civil servants join the fund. Forty years later, the initiative by Sizwe’s founding fathers, has become a force in the Medical Aid industry, and has bold plans and strategies to serve its members with utmost care.

Our Mission:

– To be a leading medical fund that will bring healthcare closer to the nation.

– To deliver affordable, comprehensive benefits to members.

– To acknowledge member’s value through excellent service.

– To be the best medical fund that recognises, engages and respects its members.

– Strive to maintain Sizwe Medical Fund as a sustainable business.

Financials:

Sizwe prides itself on its financial strength and has for several years held reserves well above the percentage required by the Council for Medical Schemes, allowing the Fund to keep contributions lower than the industry average for several years running. This good financial standing has reflected in the scheme’s steadily high rating by independent body, Global Credit Rating (GCR), indicating the scheme’s good claims paying ability.

Branches:

Sizwe has offices nationwide to ensure its accessibility for its members, these include:

  • Johannesburg (head office)
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Cape Town
  • Durban
  • East London
  • Witbank
  • Welkom
  • Polokwane

Product range:

Sizwe offers a broad range of products that makes it attractive to all South Africans from CEOs to staff working on the shop floor. The product range is divided into two different categories based on individual preferences of the member.

The traditional range works on a fee-for-service basis i.e. a provider bills the medical scheme for the service they have provided.

The member is given generous limits for groups of benefits and can use these benefits up to the limit specified in the benefit guide.

These products include:

  • Titanium Executive: The top of the range option that offers generous benefits
  • Platinum Enhanced : A middle of the range option
  • Gold Ascend: The lower income option in the traditional range

The network product works on a network basis in which the Fund has contracted with certain groups of service providers and the risk is shared between the two parties.

A member then chooses a doctor in their area from the list of doctors within that network and the doctor manages the member’s health for the year on a capitation basis.  Affordable Network: This network option is available countrywide and is administered by PrimeCure, and ECIPA in the Eastern Cape.  Sizwe members also have access to several disease management programmes to assist them to manage any chronic conditions they may have, as well as benefit management programmes to ensure members receive the most appropriate care for their condition and help to keep down costs of hospital and medicine expenses. These include:

  • Hospital Management Programme
  • Chronic Medication Programme
  • HIV/Aids Management Programme
  • Dental Benefit Management Programme
  • Cardiovascular Wellness Programme
  • Respiratory Wellness Programme
  • Diabetes Wellness Programme

Why Sizwe?

– Financially strong

– Product range to suit all needs and pockets

– Salary-based contributions makes it affordable for low income earners

– Service consultants available for query resolution at your workplace

Contact us:
Customer Care: 0860 100 871
Email: queries@sizwe.co.za
Website: www.sizwe.co.za