Is It Worthwhile Having a Hospital Plan?
South Africans are spoilt for choice when it comes
to excellence in health care. Even the public health system compares very well when placed alongside the services
offered in some developed countries such as the United Kingdom and even the United
However, a large percentage of the South African population lives on or under the
breadline and is complete dependent upon the public health system. The system consequently experiences immense
pressure to provide adequate services while they are under-funded and without enough
Most people find the public health system
cumbersome. It is not possible to make fixed appointments with specific service providers or specialists. There are
often long waiting periods and the treatments and medication available are limited to approved
For those that can afford it, private health care
is a better option. It is more convenient, the facilities are more advanced and it is possible to select a
specialist or facility that is both convenient and preferred. However, private medical care in South Africa is
extremely expensive and very few people are able to afford it from their private cash reserves. The answer is to
become a member of one of the many excellent medical aid schemes in the country. Sadly, even this option is rather
pricey. Comprehensive medical aid plans are costly and not everybody can afford
Luckily, there is an alternative: hospital plans.
These plans do not make provision for day-to-day medical expenses. They rather provide cover for the cost of
in-hospital treatment. There are a few hospital plans that offer limited cover for certain out-of-hospital medical
expenses, but it is the cost of hospital treatment that makes these plans so attractive to many
Is it worth it to have only a hospital
One of the worst assumptions you can possibly make
is to think that you will not need emergency treatment or surgery or that you will not contract a dread disease
that will require prolonged and expensive hospital treatment. Nobody can assume that they are immune to medical
calamities. It happens at the most unexpected time and it can happen to anybody. And when this happens you will
surely want the very best treatment you can possibly get. A hospital plan can make sure that this is indeed the
case. So, if you are wondering whether a hospital plan is worth the cost, ask yourself the following
- Can I afford tens, or even hundreds of
thousands of rand – no, make that millions of rand - that will be necessary to undergo surgical treatment in a
- If there is an emergency or accident, do I
want to be able to receive treatment at the best facility possible?
- In cases of emergency, do I want efficient
road or air transport to the best possible care facility?
- Do I want to be able to select the specialist
that will be treating me as opposed to accepting whoever is assigned to my case?
- Do I want my specific case to receive the
highest possible priority as opposed to a first-come-first served basis in public health care
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above
questions you can be sure that it is definitely worth it to consider a hospital plan. Your health is your most
important asset. You need to take steps to make sure that you will be in excellent hands when you need medical
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