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Press statement

All media: 18 July 2023: CMS sets the record straight on the inaccurate media reporting of the North Gauteng High Court Ruling


The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) notes with concern misleading media reports going contrary against the judgement delivered by the North Gauteng High Court (see attached judgement) on 10 July 2023.

In stating the obvious, the initial application lodged by BHF against the CMS and NDOH was on an allegation that there is a moratorium to prevent medical schemes from offering low-cost benefit products. An unfortunate politicking stance by BHF, the CMS moved swiftly to oppose the application as these allegations were wholly misplaced and incorrect.

Subsequently, in an interlocutory application, BHF lodged a Rule 30A application requesting the CMS and NDOH to release an exhaustive list of documents. The court has with respect only requested that certain documents (which we believe have no relevance) be disclosed but nevertheless this is a distortion of the truth that CMS was directed to furnish reasons on why it has blocked low-cost benefits products.

The main dispute remains undecided by the court. As such, we believe that the journalistic approach on the contents and interpretation of the court judgment by Katherine Child and others is not fair and balanced.

Attempts to sway public opinion on the LCBO (a highly public-health sensitive matter) is puerile journalism. At no point was the CMS provided an avenue to respond adequately to the court ruling nor an opportunity accorded to refute claims purported on the LCBO by the concerned journalists.

Upon advice from our legal unit, the CMS is to lodge a formal complaint with the Press Ombudsman (Press Council of South Africa) against Katherine Child and others – if no retraction or apology is received. The CMS believes that journalistic standards and ethics were contravened in the reporting process.

Furthermore, the CMS respects judicial processes and is taking legal advice on the contents of the North Gauteng High judgment.

Download the ruling here:

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