The history behind both brands (Sizwe Medical Fund and Hosmed Medical Scheme) allows for the engineering of a legacy in health insurance that the new entity, Sizwe Hosmed is braced to build, representing a collective 80 years - covering the South African public with a blanket of medical insurance products.
Sizwe Medical Fund
History and Background
Hosmed Medical Scheme
History and Background
In 1978, forty three 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).
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.
Hosmed Medical Scheme (Hosmed) was registered in terms of the Medical Schemes Act No. 131 of 1998 as a non-profit, open medical scheme. Hosmed provided healthcare services to between 21 000 and 35 000 principal members for over 20 years before merging with Sizwe Medical Fund. Hosmed consistently achieved A-ratings year after year, within the Global Credit Rating, which indicated a strong and stable financial position.
Most people in South Africa want to have access to health or medical aid systems that are just simple and easy to understand. With the Hosmed Medical Aid, the procedure to getting the best medical care was as easy as it looked like. This Scheme was open to both the private and public sectors of the country, and it aimed to provide the best medical care possible. Hosmed was established way back in 1988 as a way to provide health care for civil employees.
The main reason that most people preferred to have the services of Hosmed Medical Aid was the value they gained from the policy. It is already known that most people pay a lot of money for their benefits and contributions to the health care package, and with the representation that Hosmed offers, it seems they are the best choice.
For more than 28 years, Hosmed has provided structured and sustainable healthcare solutions, living up to our vision of Care for Life As an open medical scheme, we have grown to serve more than beneficiaries nationally, covering a variety of employment groups in both local government and private sector. Our product offering consists of four benefit options, namely; Plus, Value, Access and Essential. Why Join Hosmed Our products are real value for money We have a wide range of competitive benefits and contribution options As a traditional scheme our benefits are designed to be easy to understand We strive to deliver personalised service excellence Our footprint stretches nationwide and we are accepted by all service providers The scheme holds healthy reserves to shield against fluctuations You only pay for your first three children We guarantee unlimited hospitalisation on all options for PMB conditions The collective value of Hosmed day-to-day benefits per option is the best in the industry Hosmed offers optometry, dentistry, pathology and radiology benefits PER PERSON, no matter how big your family is. Hosmed We Care Emergency Services which includes Additional wellness benefit for all beneficiaries on all options Access to a 24-hour call centre, including telephonic nurse advice Emergency and nonemergency transfer Hosmed Medical Scheme offering a traditional, sound healthcare solution for all South Africans.