The Department of Health’s denial that it is attempting to improperly collect private information from medical aid members is highly misleading.
Specifically, in their response:
- The Department is completely silent on how the security, integrity and confidentially personal information will be ensured;
- The Department has failed to confirm whether members of private medical aid schemes have consented to the their information being used;
- The Department has failed to give a compelling reason as to why it wants access to this personal information in the first place; and
- The Department has not confirmed if the information regulator has agreed to the gathering of this information.
The DA challenges the Department to make public the exact methodology used to collect this information and whether this methodology complies with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (Act No.4 of 2013).
We will furthermore continue with our complaint against the Council of Medical Schemes (CMS) to the Information Regulator, in terms of Section 74(1) read with Section 75 of POPI. This investigation will help clarify the information which the Department is failing to divulge.
Yesterday, the DA revealed that the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi wrote to the CMS in July last year requesting that it collect private data about medical scheme members in order to maintain a ‘Beneficiary Registry’.
This letter was then converted into a directive by Registrar Daniel Lehutjo. Many of the medical aid scheme principals have since refused to furnish this information.
The DA believes that this request is unlawful and unconstitutional.
Last year the DA released Our Health Plan which proposes a workable plan to provide quality and affordable health care to South Africans at a much faster rate than the government’s National Health Insurance.
Critically, Our Health Plan shows how we can do this without having to encroach on citizens’ private information to do so.
Dr. Wilmot James MP
DA Shadow Minister for Health
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