Students who attend tertiary education facilities in South Africa may have access to campus clinics, where provided). Two or three generations ago, any South African student requiring medical care or attention would have had to consult a general practitioner in private practice and pay for their services from their own or their parents’ pocket, often by dipping into their allowance.
Most people, students included, had never had to deal with high inflation and its negative impact on the spending power of the rand and the eroding effect it would soon have on students’ purses and wallets, which have always been notoriously close to empty, at the best of times.
Since those days, everything’s costs have increased immensely. All medical costs and charges in South Africa are virtually guaranteed to increase at least every year, sometimes more often. This applies to all medical costs, from consultations with a doctor or specialist, medicines, treatments, and procedures, to hospitalisation and in-hospital processes.
Fortunately for medical aid members, as well as those who are students, monthly contributions only increase once annually, at the beginning of each year. However, the charges that apply to almost all other matters medical are subject to increases at any time, for any number of reasons to which the public is not necessarily privy, unless they make specific enquiries. Most South Africans simply accept such seemingly random increases without question, rather as a fact of life in this country in the 21st century.
Students’ Medical Solutions
KeyHealth’s medical aid scheme and its six options make provision for most students’ medical aid needs. Typically, with few exceptions, students are young people, just emerging from their teens. They are generally energetic, healthy, and in prime physical condition. None of the aches, pains, and medical complaints that come with age have beset them yet, and probably will not, for many years still. Because a typical student is strong, fit, and healthy, their systems offer more and better resistance to passing viruses and illnesses. If they do get sick, it is generally of short duration, since their bodies have the wherewithal to fight off infections, healing, and becoming well again, often with little or no medical intervention. Most are able to afford to pay for the odd, rare doctor’s visit.
However, unforeseen medical emergencies and accidents, which may be serious or life-threatening, occur unexpectedly, out of the blue. Treatments may well include those that only take place in hospital. The inadequacy to cope with patient numbers in overburdened South African hospitals and state medical facilities is well known – a scary situation when your very life and recovery may depend on timely, expert medical care.
KeyHealth’s three most affordable options – Essence, Origin, and Equilibrium – may hold the ideal solution for South African students who are single, young, and in good health, in addition to being on a tight budget. These medical aid plans are remarkably affordable and cater for and cover disasters and major medical expenses, PMBs, chronic medication, and supplementary services; they are great for most students’ needs.