Johannesburg - Bonitas Medical Fund, South Africa's second-largest medical scheme, bolstered its financial position in the year to December 31 2010 with a R500m boost in net income as it kept a tight control on costs while continuing to strengthen the solvency of the scheme. Bonitas reported a net surplus for the year of R277m after a deficit of R242m in the previous financial year. The group's paid-up members at December 31 2010 totalled 279 546 people, while the total number of beneficiaries was 650 846. Net contributions by members in 2010 rose by R700m to R6.8bn. Bonitas said it strengthened its solvency ratio to 35.97%, well above the statutory 25% and significantly higher than the industry norm, and minimised contribution increases and erosion of benefits. Gerhard van Emmenis, Acting Principal Officer of Bonitas, attributes the improvement largely to the fund's ability to manage down both healthcare and non-healthcare costs to improve its solvency ratio. "These results show that we remain among the most solvent and best-administered schemes in the country. Even during a challenging period of close scrutiny by the regulator, we have continued to serve our members and protect their interests with great success," he said.