Trade union Solidarity has criticised the recent decision by the government’s biggest medical scheme to guarantee private hospital care to all its members, saying it was an admission of the state’s failure to run an effective public healthcare system.

Last week the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS ) announced that even its lowest-paid members would from January 2020 have cover for private hospital admissions, as part of its efforts to standardise the benefits across its different options. Gems members constitute the majority of SA’s 1.1-million public servants, and currently runs to 720,00 principal members and their dependants. ..

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