The introduction of GEMS

The beginning of GEMS was a historic moment when in 2002, the Cabinet approved a framework policy on a restricted (closed) medical scheme for further development by an interdepartmental working group (departments of Public Service and Administration, National Treasury, Health, Education, Correctional Services and SAPS).

The approved framework policy centered on the principles of equity, efficiency and differentiation:

  • Equity where employees have equal access to the most extensive set of equal basic benefits under equitable remuneration structures, subject to affordability.
  • Efficiency regarding the costs and delivery of benefits.
  • Differentiation, where employees choosing more extensive cover have equal access to higher benefits subject to their needs.
  • Government's commitment to an equitable and affordable medical scheme.

The Cabinet gave the development and implementation of GEMS intense consideration, relying on substantial research and data analyses. The implementation of GEMS is a positive step that positions government as an employer of choice that truly cares for the health and wellbeing of its employees.

Who is GEMS?

GEMS was registered on 1 January 2005 specifically to meet the healthcare needs of government employees. We offer six excellent healthcare benefit options, namely Tanzanite One, Beryl, Ruby, Emerald Value, Emerald and Onyx. Our goal is to help public service employees and their families to get the best possible healthcare at the most affordable rate. 

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GEMS compliments the current public health infrastructure

The implementation of GEMS also supports the work performed by the Department of Health on National Health Insurance and the establishment of the Risk Equalisation Fund.

GEMS achieves unique synergies with the work currently being performed by the Department of Health. Nearly two million beneficiaries have already been enrolled on GEMS, through the promotion of greater access to the employer subsidy. The introduction of these additional beneficiaries into the medical scheme environment has resulted in a reduced public sector patient load and a reduction in the demand on the public sector's resources. By enrolling members on our Tanzanite One option, additional revenue streams for public healthcare facilities and the public private partnerships will be created.

More medical scheme beneficiaries and increased revenue that will be generated in the private healthcare sector; and a reduction in the pressure on many of our public sector facilities that so many of our citizens are dependent on for the provision of essential healthcare services. GEMS is committed to delivering access to equitable, comprehensive and sustainable benefits to all public service employees.

Our Mission

To provide all members with equitable access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare; promoting member wellbeing.

Our Vision

An excellent, sustainable and effective medical scheme that drives transformation in the healthcare industry, aligned with the principles of universal healthcare coverage


We are a results-driven organization and achieve our set goals and objectives with desired outcomes. We keep each other informed about member activities and regarding new members. We also communicate when a member’s needs are not being met.

Member Value 

We are dependable, adhere to turnaround times and are cost conscious. We are effective in retaining existing members and communicate with our members regularly. We are flexible and adapt to changes in our member needs and desires.


We are a high-performer and consistently exceed and deliver on our goals and objectives.


We encourage people to suggest ways to improve how GEMS does things. We are effective in generating new business ideas and are effective in controlling costs. We also take reasonable risks consistent with our purpose, values, and vision.


We are professional, trustworthy, fair, and do not tolerate crime, fraud and corruption. We share the financial information needed to make sound business decisions. We regularly communicate information related to GEMS performance. We are honest to each other and with our members and internal customers. We assume responsibility for our mistakes. We give back to the community we serve.