Broadening Healthcare Access – a Shared Responsibility
Emerging from the toughest economic year in South Africa since the Great Depression with a devastating 7% contraction in GDP in 2020, it’s fair to say that times are tough. What this means for average households is that affordability and lasting value have shot to the very top of the priority pile, if they were not there already. This is particularly true with regard to healthcare, which – with the ongoing impact of Covid-19 – is now more important than ever before. This World Health Day, 7 April 2021, CEO and Principal Officer of CompCare Medical Scheme, Josua Joubert, considers how a medical scheme can broaden access to quality healthcare. There remains a great deal of work to be done in ensuring that the healthcare needs of all South Africans are met. In the meantime, however, we are certainly seeing that healthcare consumers are doing their utmost to keep their healthcare cover intact. Medical schemes with a good balance of experience and foresight are addressing needs in segments of the market that have previously been overlooked. Quite simply, these individuals deserve better healthcare access. CompCare has therefore taken the stance of “waste not, want not” with benefit options specifically formulated to make rands go further. For example, our efficiency discounted (ED) option offers exceptional value by partnering with Netcare hospitals and Dis-Chem pharmacies. This can amount to as much as 25% of the normal contribution rate for a similar plan, a difference that can, for many, make or break the decision to sign up for healthcare cover. Similarly, the majority of our preventative benefits – which provide for every stage of life – are paid from scheme risk and not from day-to-day benefits, assisting to preserve member savings more effectively. Flexibility is another pertinent factor when it comes to access, particularly for employer groups providing healthcare cover to employees. One of the greatest challenges for businesses can be finding the right provider to cover several different staff bases without compromising on quality, and for a feasible cost. CompCare can solve this problem, with an option for everyone from the lowest earning employee to the top-ranking executives, all within one scheme. And, while the ability to seek quality preventative care and treatment for one’s physical wellbeing is paramount to a good quality of life, mental health should be of equal importance. CompCare’s emotional wellness benefit, which is available free of charge on all options, provides a 24-hour helpline with trained clinical professionals, together with a referral for face-to-face counselling when required. As one of the country’s top-rated medical schemes, we take seriously the responsibility to provide healthcare cover that offers truly meaningful benefits for even the tightest of healthcare budgets. This World Health Day, we pledge to continue reaching further than ever before to improve healthcare access, now and into the future.