Discovery Health employee quits after leaked recording shock

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Discovery's headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and Partners)
Discovery's headquarters in Sandton (Boogertman and Partners)
  • A leaked recording implicates a Discovery Health employee for trying to influence an election process at LA Health, Sunday Times reported. 
  • Discovery Health's Ryan Noach says the employee in question has since resigned, this after preliminary findings from a fact finding investigation showed the employee breached guidelines from the regulator.
  • According to Noach, Discovery was not aware of the content of the meeting in question and would not have condoned or mandated such a meeting.

A former Discovery Health employee has allegedly tried to influence a trustee election process for LA Health Medical Scheme, which Discovery administers.

According to a Sunday Times report, a leaked recording of a meeting with LA Health Medical Scheme brokers implicates the employee for trying to fix the elections of the scheme's trustees to protect profits. 

LA Health Medical Scheme is a restricted scheme operating in the local council employee sector. Discovery Health has administered the LA Health for the past 16 years, since 2005.

In a statement, Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach said the company was "explicitly not aware" of the content of the meeting, nor would it have condoned or mandated such a meeting. The meeting was held at Discovery offices in Durban, Sunday Times reported.

"To influence or attempt to influence the outcome of a trustee election contravenes the CMS (Council for Medical Schemes) declaration, and is not a practice Discovery would ever allow. Our organisation is very clear on the conduct required in relation to trustee elections and would not breach this, nor condone any breach under any circumstance," said Noach.

Discovery Health became aware of the recording of the meeting on 1 July. The company subsequently implemented an independent fact-finding investigation and informed the Council for Medical Schemes, the industry regulator. It also informed the principal officer of LA Health.

The preliminary findings of the independent investigation confirm that the employee acted without the instruction or knowledge of Discovery, in breach of the Undesirable Business Guideline, published by the Council for Medical Schemes in 2017. "This rendered his continued employment with Discovery untenable, and he has resigned with immediate effect," Noach said.

Discovery has since updated the board of LA Health on the preliminary findings. It said it would also cooperate fully and transparently with any investigation the Council for Medical Schemes may undertake.

Fin24 has sent questions to the Council for Medical Schemes on the matter and will update the article once a response is received.

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