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This article is taken from the March 1999 Phatlalatsa newsletter

 

Listening to their members

The transformation of Transmed from a financially unstable scheme to one that is financially stable has come at a price. Many members of Transmed are unhappy, some so unhappy they have left the scheme.

In an effort to help improve the situation the Transmed board requested S&T to conduct a study which would establish reasons for dissatisfaction and what areas members, ex-members and non-members would like to see improved.

The research found that Transmed is at something of a crossroads. Underlying the problems is a series of issues, which include:

  • lack of understanding of what a new generation medical scheme is, how it operates, and what is expected of members;

  • on-going expectations that Transmed is a traditional medical aid - and perceptions that it is a poor one;

  • suspicion that other groups (black/white, manager/worker, etc.) are doing better out of the scheme.

There were also factors on the positive side:

  • loyalty to Transnet and to Transmed;

  • a desire for Transmed to 'get it right';

  • full support for certain benefits.

S&T recommended that Transmed develop a multi-faceted strategy that seeks to tackle a number of problems simultaneously. This strategy should be built on the recommendations made in the report.

Recommendations included: improving the benefit design and the administration of the scheme, establishing an independent monitoring and evaluating system, improving communication between the scheme and its members.

 

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