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Health professionals: Overhaul 'confusing' medical scheme coding system

Law firm Elsabe Klink and Associates made representations on Wednesday at the inquiry looking to allegations of racial profiling by medical schemes.

Picture: Unsplash.com

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing health professionals are calling for an overhaul of the country's coding system.

Law firm Elsabe Klink and Associates made representations on Wednesday at the Section 59 inquiry looking into allegations of racial profiling by medical schemes.

The firm said their clients were confused by the coding system because it was a mess and some medical schemes made up their own coding and then penalised doctors who did not get it right.

Officials from the law firm said medical schemes used a confusing coding system and many professionals who were afraid to be blacklisted were forced to admit wrongdoing.

The firm said medical schemes also used fake patients to trap health professionals into actions such as issuing fake sick notes, used the evidence to blackmail professionals to acknowledge debt for unrelated transactions and paid money to avoid being reported.

The firm said in many cases, schemes told professionals to pay money for investigations against them to go away and many regretted agreeing to these arrangements.

Elsabe Klink and Associates said they did not have statistics of racial profiling but many of the professionals who were investigated that they represented were black.

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