Samwumed celebrates milestone

Samwumed principal officer Neil Nair, kneeling in front, is pictured with some of those who attended the event.

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union National Medical Scheme (Samwumed) is marking 15 years of service in the medical aid industry.

They held a celebration last month at Aden Avenue, Athlone, with business partners, clients, friends, and family.

Samwumed was initially part of a Cape Town-based scheme called SAMWU which launched in 1967 and was previously known as the Cape Town Municipal Workers’ Association Benefit Fund.

Samwumed was launched as a fully- fledged national medical aid in June 2001, as the only black medical aid at the time which triumphed through a difficult period, where access to quality health care was difficult for working class people.

The scheme evolved from a simple trade union scheme to one of the largest fully-funded, self-administered medical aid schemes for workers in local government and government support industries nationally.

Samwumed was started as a benefit fund to ensure those who were previously marginalised had access to affordable, quality healthcare.

On Thursday December 15, the medical aid celebrated just that, affordable healthcare for the average household, at an average price.

Neil Nair, Samwumed principal officer, said the key to the medical scheme’s success was organisational discipline.

He also announced that there would be a name change for the medical scheme .

In December, they joined hands with Medscheme, one of the leading medical aid health administrations in South Africa for more than 40 years.

The signing took place on Wednesday November 30, at the Samwumed offices in Athlone (“Joining forces for a healthy future”, Athlone News, December 7).

Mr Nair said the scheme engaged with Medscheme as its hospital manager in 2015.

This year Samwumed’s board has agreed to extend its partnership with Medscheme to include medicine management and HIV/Aids disease management programmes.

Mr Nair said the partnership between the two companies will enable more affordable healthcare and a more proactive healthcare experience by the patient, as well as improved preventative care initiatives.