The Council for Medical Schemes has approved the merger of Hosmed Medical Scheme and Sizwe Medical Fund, to form what will be known as Sizwe Hosmed Medical Scheme. It will be South Africa’s eighth-largest open medical scheme.
The merger brings together Sizwe’s 46 900 members with Hosmed’s 21 000.
Dr Simon Mangcwatywa, Sizwe Hosmed’s principal executive officer, says: “We can all be proud to bear witness to the birth of Sizwe Hosmed, as it represents the collective (proverbial) blood, sweat and tears of a group of individuals with the tenacity to see through a shared vision to its fruition.”
Developments in recent years have placed pressure on smaller medical funds, which in turn have resulted in consolidations. These include a review of the Prescribed Minimum Benefits package, the government’s drive towards implementing National Health Insurance, and an expected increase in claims in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This merger is mutually beneficial to both schemes, where the combined balance sheet and increased membership size can unlock efficiencies and economies of scale to the benefit of all members,” said Mangcwatywa. “Sizwe Hosmed members will benefit through a reduction in non-healthcare expenses attributed to reduced operational scheme expenses.”
Mangcwatywa said: “As we step into the new journey of this medical scheme, we must remember what lies at the base of our operations. We are working not for ourselves and our own benefit, but for the generations ahead of us, to ensure that this legacy tree will stand firmly rooted, offering safety and protection under the comfort of its shade.”