“SAMWUMED has had strong financial performance from 2016 to 2018.” This is according to Joe Seoloane, Curator for SAMWUMED.  The Curator is quoted in the 2018 Annual Financial Performance Report released in September 2019, as saying “SAMWUMED has been consistently making net healthcare surpluses, before investment income.

For the 2018 financial year the Scheme’s reserves stood at R1.37 billion and the higher investment returns increased solvency ratios to 105%.

“This good financial performance has put the Scheme in a positon to continue paying claims”, added Mr Seoloane. In that respect, R1.1 billion worth of claims were paid in 2018.

However, the Scheme’s good financial performance was dampened by a decline in membership from 35 556 in 2017 to 32 954 in 2018 which translates into a 7.6% drop.

However, the Curator was heartened by the Scheme’s efforts to compete aggressively with the objective of retaining existing and attracting new members. These efforts included improving benefits in line with member feedback; improving service to members; improving the capacity of the Scheme to service members; and improving member and stakeholder communication.

For example:

  • The overall Hospital Limits have been increased by 5.4% with some even exceeding this such as Acute and over-the-counter medication being increased by 10.4% and 8.4% respectively
  • The Scheme did away with restrictions to state hospitals for certain procedures
  • Hospital networks and contracts have been reviewed
  • Vacancies throughout the Scheme were filled including in the Sales and Servicing department as well as the back office
  • Creation of automation and self-service options
  • New and improved communications platforms were introduced including the new and interactive Scheme website and the stakeholder newsletter Imbizo and stakeholder roadshows which enabled concrete and valuable feedback – which was used to improve the Scheme’s offering.

“I have no doubt that all these will translate into member stabilisation and growth in the future,” Mr Seoloane said.

Governance

The journey to restore Governance has been embarked upon and has culminated in the election of a new Board of Trustees which will be announced in October 2019, following a successful Annual General Meeting which took place on Friday 27 September 2019. Also still to come is the appointment of a new Principal Officer (PO) for the Scheme.