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SUB CATEGORIES General  |  HIV |  Medical Schemes | 

GEMS brings its second AGM to the Eastern Cape

30 June 2008 Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS)

The Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) held its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members in Port Elizabeth on Monday 30 June 2008 at the Boardwalk Conference Centre.

Dr Eugene Watson, Principal Officer of GEMS, explained how the medical scheme is making every effort to provide as many of its members with the opportunity to attend and participate in the AGM’S. “We have many loyal members in the Eastern Cape, in fact more than 10% of our overall membership, and the decision was taken by the Board to hold our second AGM in this province. Last year the inaugural AGM was held in Pretoria and next year the Board will select another province to host the event,” he says. “We want to continue rotating the provincial destination of each AGM and stakeholder event so as to ensure all members have the opportunity to engage with the Scheme and Board of Trustees”.

According to Dr Watson the AGM offered the scheme an ideal opportunity to inform its members of the significant progress made by GEMS during the last financial year and to introduce future plans and initiatives. The AGM saw members participating actively in important Scheme decisions that will affect the Scheme going forward and in the discussions surrounding various issues affecting the Scheme.

“Medical schemes and their assets belong to members and member involvement in governance and management processes is therefore of premier importance to us, not just for the AGM, but rather for the long terms success of GEMS in fulfilling its mandate to public service employees.”

GEMS is the largest restricted membership medical scheme in South Africa and caters exclusively to over 700,000 public service employees and their families. The Scheme provides healthcare benefits through five benefit plans, ranging from a basic, low-cost option to a comprehensive, benefit-rich option and makes effective use of innovative and accessible member services.

The Scheme has been in operation for only two and a half years now and has enjoyed unprecedented growth and success since then. More than one out of every five public service employees is currently a GEMS member and in the Western Cape almost 40% of employees are in fact members of GEMS.

Dr Watson says that “The AGM concluded successfully and members benefited greatly from the direct interaction with the Board of Trustees, half of which they elected a year ago, whilst also enjoying the information session and wellness stands.”

Earlier this month GEMS held its inaugural Stakeholder Symposium where it shared valuable information pertaining to the health trends of public service employees enrolled on GEMS. The Scheme, in preparation for the AGM, released its Annual Report for the year ending December 2007 recently and this report is available on the GEMS website: http://www.gems.gov.za/
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