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Date: 15 May 2012
Title: GEMS covers more than half of public service
Pretoria - The Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) now covers an effective 58% of eligible public service employees, says Public Service and Administration acting Minister Mildred Oliphant.
Delivering the department's Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Oliphant said that to date, GEMS has registered 641 000 principal members and 1.7 million beneficiaries.
"The ministry is proud to report to this House that GEMS was ranked the first amongst medical schemes in the 2011 Ask Afrika Orange Index. This is indeed another feather in the cap of GEMS, and it attests to its efficiency. GEMS continues to cover public service employees and to provide for their medical needs," she noted.
More than 200 000 employees on salary levels 1 - 5 were enrolled on GEMS by the end of 2011, representing more than 50% of all levels 1 - 5 employees in the public service.
"Income bands in the scheme's contribution table are applicable for each benefit option and promote access to the benefits by lower income earners. Continued growth in the membership and the offerings by GEMS was realised as a result of the effective execution of both planned and targeted marketing strategies," she said.
Oliphant added that ensuring a healthy workforce within a sound and enabling working environment was key to constructing a capable developmental public service.
The portfolio has developed gender sensitive and rights based HIV and Aids mainstreaming guidelines, which were now being implemented in the public service, she said. - BuaNews