The section 59 investigation panel launched by the Council for Medical Schemes in 2019, had to, once again, postpone the release of its interim report into allegations of racial discrimination by medical schemes and administrators in South Africa.

The Government Employees’ Medical Scheme (Gems) and the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) went to court to block the public release of an interim report about racial discrimination against doctors by local medical schemes.

It was due to be released at midday on Sunday at a press conference, but, according to the court documents, the applicants claim “scathing allegations and findings in relation to Gems (and others)”.

And the facts that the state-owned medical aid has not seen the interim report or the investigation’s terms of reference, nor has it been given an opportunity to comment on it, make the public release a contravention of the Medical Schemes Act, the applicants claim.

The application says Gems was informed that the interim report contained findings “that some of the current procedures followed by the medical schemes to enforce their rights in terms of section 59 of the Act are unfair, that black providers are unfairly discriminated against on.