About Friends of GEMS

Introducing the 'Friends of GEMS' programme
We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the vital role that you have and continue to play in the delivery of quality care to the members of GEMS. As you may be aware we cover more than 688 000 principal members and over 1.8 million lives.

With GEMS already the largest restricted medical scheme in the country there is no denying that we have experienced phenomenal growth and that we are leaving an indelible mark on the South African healthcare industry. With the ongoing support of our members and healthcare providers alike the expectation is that GEMS will continue to grow and flourish!

Our members have spoken and we've listened
To date you may or may not have become aware of the programme's features which benefits both members and healthcare providers alike. It is an accessible, convenient and easy to use provider registry that allows members' access to the contact details of healthcare providers registered on the Friends of GEMS programme.

The 'Friends of GEMS programme' enables members to locate a healthcare provider in the specific discipline and location of their choice.  Members SMS their membership number; the discipline or service they require (e.g.: 'GP', Dentist' or 'Pharmacy'); and their preferred location and they receive an immediate reply stating the up-to-date contact details and addresses of at least three 'Friends of GEMS' in the area they require.

Benefits in store for 'Friends of GEMS'

  • Direct access to a large and rapidly growing membership base;
  • A listing on the busy GEMS website which receives more than 80 000 hits each month; 
  • Active promotion and marketing of the programme by GEMS to all its members; and 
  • Providers will receive useful practice and demographic information on a quarterly basis.

Equally important is your participation on the programme. Recent demographic reviews reveal the location of your rooms as important in ensuring equal access to healthcare for members of this rapidly growing scheme.

Criteria for provider participation
Note: Healthcare providers on the GEMS Network need not register separately on the Friends of GEMS programme as they are automatically loaded as Friends of GEMS providers on joining the Network.

  • Providers must be fully registered with the appropriate professional body;
  • Commit to charging members the GEMS Scheme rate (on the Ruby, Emerald and Onyx options) and the GEMS negotiated rate for network providers servicing members on the Sapphire and Beryl options* (Only providers who have signed Annexure A of the GEMS Network agreement can service members on the Sapphire and Beryl Options).
  • Commit not to charge GEMS members any surcharges or co-payments; and
  • Sign a short commitment to abide by the participation criteria listed above.

How to register on the programme

How to get activated and stay activated

  • All submitted information will be verified by the Scheme.
  • Successful applications will be sent a confirmation by email. 
  • The database will be audited continuously to ensure compliance with the 'Friends of GEMS' criteria as listed above.

We recognise that healthcare providers are professionals who have the best interest of their patients, our members, at heart. We value the important role of healthcare professionals and seek to build a long and mutually beneficial relationship with our healthcare partners.

We look forward to your participation in the 'Friends of GEMS' programme and to nurturing an open and transparent relationship with you.

Yours sincerely

Dr Gunvant (Guni) Goolab
Principal Officer: Government Employees Medical Scheme
Note: The Sapphire and Beryl options are network-based plans. The Scheme agreed rate is the tariff paid only to those providers who are participating in the GEMS Network as healthcare providers for these options.