What is 'Friends of GEMS' all about?
It is an innovative and accessible SMS and online GEMS service where members request and receive the contact details of healthcare providers registered on the programme.
How can you benefit from 'Friends of GEMS'?
Accessibility and convenience are the key objectives of the 'Friends of GEMS' programme and is set to benefit both members and providers alike. For our members it is all about an easily accessible up-to-the-minute database of GEMS friendly healthcare providers. For the healthcare providers, they become accessible to the Scheme's constantly-growingmembership base.
How do members make use of this service?
The 'Friends of GEMS' programme enables members to locate a healthcare provider in a specific discipline and location of their choice.
I tried your service, but received a response indicating that there was no provider in the requested area.
As of 1 April 2009, the service was improved and will automatically search for the healthcare provider requested within the surrounding suburbs for you, without having to send another SMS. If you are using the website, try to search for all suburbs in the relevant drop down box.
What is the cost of each SMS?
Each SMS including the response that is sent will cost R1.50.
Who are the healthcare providers?
Healthcare providers choosing to become part of the 'Friends of GEMS' programme will be required to adhere to certain participation criteria. This will ensure that both healthcare service providers and members will know exactly what is required.
The participating healthcare providers include:
Is anyone excluded?
The invitation to healthcare providers is inclusive and therefore any registered healthcare provider is welcome to participate or resign from the programme at any stage.
Would providers at any stage be disqualified?
Based on the bi-annual audit, review and member survey, providers who are found to have contravened the participation criteria will be disqualified and removed from the database.
I am not getting any satisfaction in sending my SMS request!
It is imperative that you follow the instructions and send your SMS in the correct format. Don't forget to use the commas. You can call GEMS on 0860 00 4367 for assistance or use the 'Find a provider online' function (on the left-hand menu).
Will I find my doctor on your list?
Your doctor's name will appear only if he/she has elected to join Friends of GEMS and agrees not to charge levies or co-payments etc. Feel free to discuss this with your doctor and encourage them to join the programme!
Should I need a specialist, would I need to consult with my doctor/general practitioner first?
Ideally you should contact your general practitioner first. Your doctor is best positioned to advise you in consulting with a suitable specialist, etc. In the case of emergency you may use the nearest available healthcare provider.
What should I do if the listed doctor charges me a levy or co-payment?
Should the attending practitioner not comply with the terms and conditions of the programme by charging you levies or co-payments, please report these instances to the Scheme by writing to GEMS, Private bag X782, Cape Town, 8000 or email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org.