The Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa (BHF) has launched a nationally recognised Trustee Development Training certification to support the medical schemes industry. The training programme is accredited by the Wits Business School (WBS).
With the global move towards universal healthcare and South Africa’s implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), trustees have an important role to play in making strategic decisions that are in the best interests of their scheme members, as well as broader society.
“While trustees are often skilled professionals and specialists in their own right, this short course is highly relevant because it focuses on the specific needs of medical scheme trustees, particularly as regulatory demands become more onerous and an in-depth understanding of issues facing business and the broader industry is required,” explained Marketing and Communications Manager of the BHF, Zola Mtshiya.
“The roles and responsibilities of trustees have frequently come under the spotlight, with calls for the regulator to explore the possibility of providing training to them and then to set a formalised minimum education level. A further challenge for the industry is that people sign up to become trustees without fully understanding the rigorous governance issues and complexities involved in overseeing medical schemes. The spectrum of knowledge required from trustees is broad and includes sound knowledge of the industry regulations and trends – as well as the wider landscape such as NHI,” continued Mtshiya.
Apart from medical scheme trustees, this development programme is aimed at principal officers, scheme management, HR, legal and forensic people who are often engaged in scheme activities.
The BHF encourages industry peers to take up this training in order to ensure that this broad group of people has covered all the latest knowledge on best governance principles – from legal issues, medical scheme business aspects, health finance models, health and corporate governance, fraud, waste and abuse in healthcare and the law relating to medical schemes.
The BHF’s first training programme was run in March 2017 with 19 delegates signing up from nine different medical schemes. With an 84% pass rate, 16 delegates received a nationally recognised NQF 7 certification.
WBS in Parktown, Johannesburg is the venue for the next four-day BHF Trustee programme, which is staggered over two blocks: 19-20 October and 2-3 November 2017.
One of the important areas that the course covers is the role and responsibilities of trustees – this is particularly relevant for training newly elected trustees and to upskill existing trustees and company management.
In addition to the roles and responsibilities, the course also covers the real business of a medical scheme, vital knowledge on health and corporate governance and the law in relation to medical schemes.
October registrations are now open and the course outline and registration process can be accessed here.