On 06 August 2020, Anglo Medical Scheme successfully concluded its first ever virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting was broadcast via Microsoft Teams, members were able to cast their votes on the LUMI AGM platform and to actively participate by asking questions through both digital platforms. All meeting documents were made available to members before the meeting.
The meeting was opened by Fiona Robertson, the Principal Officer who took the members through the online meeting tools, explaining how the functions of a physical meeting were accommodated in the digital format. The Principal Officer was pleased to report the good turnout in the meeting, a 100% increase in participation compared to previous years. She introduced the Board of Trustees and Scheme Head Office Staff present in the meeting and handed over to the Chairman.
The Chairman, Colleen Elliott, declared the meeting duly constituted after establishing a quorum. She reported on apologies and proxies received from members who could not attend, took the meeting through the notice of the meeting, the draft minutes of the 2019 AGM and, in the absence of any objections, declared them both as confirmed. As there were no matters arising from the last meeting, she went on to reflect on the Scheme’s performance in 2019. She highlighted that 2019 turned out to be a good year after all, closing with a small surplus and a solvency of 465.5%. She reminded the meeting that the high levels of funding were a result of the employers prefunding for the large pensioner population to keep Scheme contributions at market related levels on a long-term. These funds were projected to last until the year 2045. She stated that the Trustees remained confident that the long-term strategy would continue to provide for the healthcare needs into the foreseeable future. The Chairman also pointed out that AMS members benefited of 15.6% more claims paid out compared to contributions paid in 2019.
The Chairman handed over to Marius Jacob, the Head of InHouse Finance at the Scheme’s Administrator Discovery Health, for the presentation of the 2019 financial results. Members were given the opportunity to ask questions to the AFS - no questions were raised.
The chairman then proposed the Annual Report to be adapted by the meeting. Members confirmed this by voting electronically in real time. The meeting appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers as the Auditor for the ensuing year and proceeded to elect Cas Badenhorst, Philip Laubscher and Nonhlanhla Payne as the new members of the Disputes Committee. The Chairman congratulated the new members and thanked the outgoing Committee for making themselves available during the previous term.
Lastly, the chairman reported on Trustee fees before handing over to the Principal Officer to attend to questions submitted by members. As we would like to provide all members detailed answers of the member questions raised at the meeting, we will split the member questions and answers provided over the next editions of MediBrief.
After attending to all member questions in the meeting, the Chairman thanked all for their participation in the meeting and formally closed the Annual General Meeting before handing over to Stephen Johnston, Head of Inhouse from Discovery who gave an insight full presentation on COVID-19 and its consequences on the country and on the Scheme.
Stephen shared data with the meeting to demonstrate how it was anticipated for infections to peak through August and early September, although at lover levels than originally anticipated.
He reported that hospital bed availability and ICU capacity had so far coped well in South Africa. Antibody testing was under way, as well as vaccine development, although experts expected vaccines only to be available around June/July 2021.
Average hospitalisation costs for AMS Covid-19 cases were slightly higher than the DHMS average, due to our members’ higher average age. The cost of Covid-19 for the Scheme was expected to be between R119 to R152 million over the next 18 months, but he assured the members that AMS was in the position to fund this. The overall scheme utilisation was lower than usual during the first 6 months of 2020 due to members putting treatment and/or procedures on hold during lockdown but is expected to increase again to more normal levels towards the end of the year. He ensured the meeting that overall, although a worrying situation from a health care perspective, AMS members were well secured and that the Scheme was well positioned to fund any Covid-19 related costs. In closing, he emphasized that Covid-19 was a PMB benefit and AMS was fully compliant with providing these.
The Scheme would like to thank all the members and guests who participated in the meeting. We appreciate to have had the opportunity to provide feedback and engage with our members - especially in times of social distancing and isolation - and are thankful for our members’ interest in their Scheme. Thank you also to those members who sent us their feedback and words of appreciation after the meeting.