Doctors have accused South Africa’s biggest medical-aid schemes of spying on them and sneaking hidden cameras into their consulting rooms.
The healthcare practitioners also claim the schemes are guilty of withholding payment from doctors without proof of misconduct.
These startling claims are contained in documents filed in the High Court in Pretoria last week by the National Healthcare Professionals Association, in a claim against 19 medical-aid schemes. The association was formed in October last year and has 320 members nationally. Of these, 65 are part of the court application.
The association accuses the medical-aid schemes of acting like “police, prosecutors and prison warders”.
But the medical aids this week denied any wrongdoing, saying fraud and false claims were on the rise and amounted to millions of rands a year. Most of the schemes said they would oppose the court application.
The healthcare professionals association took particular aim at Discovery Health, which it accused of acting unconstitutionally by mounting probes in doctors’ rooms.