Health is important. South Africa is famous for its health care, and expats will need to sign up for private healthcare insurance in order to access some of the best medical treatment in the world.
Why Choose Private Health Care
As a result of good working conditions, better pay and wonderfully equipped facilities, South Africa’s 200 private hospitals are the envy of the world. Technological innovation is encouraged in South Africa, and lack of money doesn’t constrain the professionals. Dr Christian Barnard carried out the world’s first successful heart transplant in Cape Town in 1967.
Premiums do vary. It is important to shop around. You could opt for a local scheme, called ‘medical aids.’ These types of schemes are relatively inexpensive and will cover basic hospital care, but aren’t always practical for anyone who develops a long-term condition that requires extensive monitoring and treatment.
It’s a good idea to take out a comprehensive policy that will cover GP visits, ambulance costs as well as hospital cover. Some policies will even offer you cover should you wish to travel to other parts of the African continent, once you’ve relocated top South Africa. The UK government advises all UK citizens planning relocation to South Africa to: ‘apply for travel/medical insurance ahead of their arrival.’
The Public System
80% of the population use public health care but this varies from province to province. The public health system is under funded. The service receives only 40% of the South African government’s total health expenditure. You can also expect to be charged for the public service. Admittedly the fees are cheap, but the treatment you can expect to receive differs. Though you can see a doctor for a very modest charge, the actual surgery might be ill equipped and basic. Anyone who wants to see a specialist must be prepared to wait a long time.
Illness in South Africa
One of the reasons behind the strains on the public healthcare service is the growth of AIDS among all sections of the population. 5.4 million of the country’s over 15 year olds suffer from this cruel virus. TB and malaria are all prevalent. Hepatitis is growing and the country is prone to waterborne diseases.
Anyone moving to South Africa should, therefore, sign up with a private health insurance provider in to access comprehensive, modern medical treatment.