As NHI looms, should Adrian Gore be more worried?
As the government forges ahead with plans to introduce National Health Insurance, SA’s largest medical aid administrator is facing its biggest battle yet. It doesn’t help that this comes at a time when not only is Discovery launching a bank, but analysts are also pointing to opaque disclosure, aggressive accounting, high financial leverage and weak cash generation. How bad is it really?
It’s been one of the more challenging weeks for SA’s quintessential corporate optimist, Adrian Gore, to keep the legendary pep in his step. Gore, 55, who built Discovery into SA’s largest medical aid administrator in just 27 years, has long been the antidote to the waves of negativity that seem to assail SA every few months. At a conference last November, he spoke of how "in SA we are particularly gloomy, but we are incredibly inaccurate about our gloominess. We are confidently wrong, we are stubbornly stupid."
But with SA on the brink of a rating downgrade, unemployment having deepened to 29%, a wave of xenophobic-based looting and an inexplicably brutal spate of violence against women, has Gore changed his tune?