Lee Callakoppen appointed as Bonitas Medical Fund principal officer

Lee is a career HR professional with experience in various industries.

South Africa’s second-largest medical aid provider Bonitas Medical Fund has appointed Lee Callakoppen as its new principal officer. Lee began a career in operational management in the retail sector before moving into Human Capital, holding positions in various industries ranging from retail to telecommunications and media. Lee was as the HR Executive for the Primedia Content Division before joining Medscheme in 2007. With a degree in Information Science, an honours degree in Business Management and a Masters in human resources management, Lee has been involved with Medscheme and the AfroCentric Group in various functions over the past decade, and has also spent time managing Medscheme International Operations. 

Lee succeeds Gerhard van Emmenis who, since mid-2017, has overseen the company’s best financial results in its 36 year history after its amalgamation with LMS (previously Liberty Medical Scheme) reporting a solid surplus of R730.20 million and recouping a R16.9 million deficit.

“ I look forward to building on the solid foundation that has been laid. The key focus areas will be to ensure the Scheme maintains strong corporate governance, strong performance and controls and to build on the mandate of making quality healthcare accessible for all South Africans, within an ethical culture,” says Lee in a press statement.

Although Gerhard will step down, Lee has stated that the two will continue to work closely together through the transition period.

“Together with the board and management team we will look at finding opportunities to further grow Bonitas. This means not only retaining our existing membership base but attracting younger and healthier members to ensure the sustainability of the Scheme,” he says, adding that he intends to build excellence in everything the company does towards enhancing member value, especially in light of the challenging economic environment.

While the introduction of National Health Insurance is often viewed as a major threat to medical aid providers, Lee is in full support of a universal healthcare system, which he says would be aligned with Bonitas’ mission to make quality healthcare more affordable and more accessible. 

“I have a good team working alongside me and we hope to keep the Fund sustainable and offer our members access to benefits and services of the highest standard,” says Lee.