The Increasing Need for Medical Aid in South Africa
Why is there currently such emphasis on medical aid in South Africa? New and proposed legislation has put the topic of medical care and services firmly in the public eye. In fact, since 1994, many new proposals have already been accepted and adopted as laws.
Besides stipulating that every medical aid in South Africa have to fully cover prescribed minimum benefits (PMB’s) for all members, no matter what plan they adopt, new legislation has already addressed many issues and the process is on-going.
New Healthcare Laws
- Encouraging the use of generic drugs and cutting the cost of medications
- Protection of high risk patients from discrimination, due to their status
- Allowing non-pharmacists to own pharmacies, widening the distribution network of medicines
- Restrict public smoking and warn of dangers on cigarette packaging
- Legalising abortion in private and public institutions
- Establishing a process to improve rights for mental health patients within the mental healthcare system
- Provision for compulsory community service for nurses
All these measures are well and good, but belonging to a medical aid is really the first choice of those who can afford it. You will benefit by consulting the preferred service providers designated by your fund, but you still have the option to see a medical professional outside the network; you simply pay in the difference between the fee charged and that of the network associated provider, out of your own pocket.
The carnage on our roads continues unabated, which means that you are at risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident virtually every time you leave the house. This applies equally to car owners and taxi commuters and the vehicles in which they travel.
Three issues result from this, one being having valid vehicle insurance, covering it for repair or replacement, as the case may be. Secondly, there is life insurance: what happens to your family if you don’t survive a car crash?
Who will make the bond repayments so that they don’t have to move out or become homeless? What of the children’s education, your elderly parents and other financial commitments that don’t automatically cease when you aren’t around any more?
Thirdly, but by no means the least important issue, are you a member of a medical scheme, which at least gives you hospital cover so that you can receive treatment if injured, or worse, physically disabled? Private hospitals may turn those who are not adequately covered away unless they are able to make a substantial deposit and give an undertaking and some proof that they are able to meet additional expenses.
Healthcare systems in state-run institutions are under tremendous pressure to provide for millions of South Africans so long queues and considerable time spent waiting are the inevitable result. Those who can afford private healthcare and have the financial means to do so, would not want to be without the cover of a traditional medical aid fund.
Rather than run any risks of not receiving timely attention or being shown away from a private facility in the case of an emergency, consider the Hospital Plans we offer; all incorporate legislated PMB cover and chronic care is included in all our options. Comparisons will illustrate that our selection of five plans really are all competitive in benefits and affordability.
We’ve had many welcome and excellent feedback and testimonial from members, which is very rewarding for us, since our mission since inception has been the provision of caring for our valued members with the best possible products, service and administration.
We also invite brokers to make contact with us, since they provide an additional service experience for our members in an intermediary role. Because we are an open scheme, virtually anyone can apply to join our scheme, a leading medical aid in South Africa.