There is no doubt that we are living in interesting times. What with the British electing to leave the EU; the pending local government elections; the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the private healthcare sector and the ongoing debate about the affordability of the NHI; it remains a challenge trying to make sense of an ever changing macro environment.
It seems however, that we do have some direction as to the enforcement of the POPI Act with news that the regulator will be appointed this year, probably after the elections in August. Given that healthcare information is explicitly referenced in the Act, it is incumbent on all of us in the industry to take steps to ensure that we are compliant and take all reasonable steps to protect this information.
Sticking to the topic of security, as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that we maintain the integrity of both the data entrusted to us and the availability of our switching service, we will be moving one of our data centres to the secure Altech Card Solutions facility this month. Altech Card Solutions, or ACS, is part of the same Altron division as MediSwitch. The current data centre has served us extremely well for the past 15 years, but with advances in security technology, it makes sense that we leverage off our own internal expertise.
ACS has established and runs one of the most secure data facilities in South Africa to date. The ACS data centre is a Tier 4 rated facility which means it guarantees 99.995% availability. The facility is highly secure, making use of CCTV and biometric access control amongst other features. There are two generators for backup power with 2000 litres of fuel capable of running the generators for three weeks non-stop without the requirement to refuel. Two Internet service providers provide full network redundancy and the centre even has a backup water supply.
The centre is managed and monitored by highly skilled network, security and infrastructure engineers providing 24/7/365 operational support. It is ISO 27001 certified, meaning that ACS meets the stringent international requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving the information security management of the data centre. The centre is also VISA and SABS certified and approved.
The second MediSwitch data centre is hosted at Continuity SA and provides similar levels of security and redundancy. In short, MediSwitch will continue to provide a world class service according to the highest certified data protection and security standards. You can continue to trust MediSwitch to ensure that your claims data and switching service is absolutely secure.
The move to the ACS data centre is being very carefully planned and will take place over a weekend. Due to the redundant nature of the two data centres, customers will not experience any downtime during the move. We will communicate specific details closer to the time.
Till next time,- Andrew.