Johannesburg - A large chunk of medical aid contributions is spent on non-healthcare costs, including substantial payments to trustees, the Business Times reports.
The Council for Medical Schemes, which polices the 87 medical schemes registered in South Africa, said the public should scrutinise the salaries of principal officers and trustees, who are meant to ensure members get treated fairly.
In a report, the council found the top-earning principal officer was Anton Rijnen, the former head of Medihelp, who received R6m last year, up 80% from the year before.
Bestmed's Dries la Grange was paid R5.6m and Discovery Health's Milton Streak got R5.4m last year, a 34% salary hike in a year, the paper reported on Sunday.
Fourteen trustees of the Government Employees Medical Scheme were paid an average of R568 000 each.
The 10 trustees of Bonitas made an average of R373 000. The trustees do part time work to ensure the scheme is run properly.
In all, 8.8m South Africans paid R129.8bn in medical aid contributions last year, 10.4% more than the previous year.
Medical aids paid R112.9bn last year, 8.9% more than the previous year. A large portion of this did not go to hospitals or doctors, but to brokers and administrators and to cover non-healthcare costs.
The amount paid to hospitals last year dropped 0.8% to R39.4bn.