Hypnosis Now Covered by Medical Aid
Genesis Medical Aid has taken a radical step to reduce the occurrence of tobacco-related deaths in South Africa, which currently number at least 44 000 victims a year. Genesis has decided to support its members in trying to kick the habit by covering hypnosis treatment for smoking. This is a first in South Africa.
Brian Watson of Genesis Medical Scheme says giving up smoking is extremely hard for smokers. This is why Genesis took the step of introducing this measure to help Genesis members improve their lifestyles.
Watson pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that by 2020 smoking will have killed more people than HIV, tuberculosis, death in childbirth, car crashes, suicide and homicide combined. He added that smoking was incredibly expensive, as was the treatment for the various medical conditions caused by smoking. These conditions include cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and respiratory disease.
Watson says statistics indicate that hypnosis treatment for smoking are very positive, with a 90,6% success rate. “However, hypnosis treatment can only be effective with full consent and commitment,” he says. He added that anyone planning to have hypnosis treatment for smoking should approach a hypnosis practitioner who is registered with the SA Institute of Hypnotherapy. Only treatment conducted by hypnotists registered with this organisation will be covered by Genesis.
He also said that smokers were unaware that the cost of living was more expensive for smokers because they also pay high life insurance premiums. “Luckily, when smokers kick the habit for a year, their premium smoker surcharge may be reduced to an ordinary premium,” says Watson.
Dr Vash Mungal-Singh, the CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, says that smoking is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and doubles the risk of stroke or heart attack. “Fortunately, anyone who stops smoking and begins to eat healthily and getting exercise can reduce the chances of getting a cardiovascular disease by 80%. Within 12 hours of stopping smoking your circulation improves and your chances of having a heart attack is half of that of a smoker,” he said.
Typically, smokers lose about 25 years of their life expectancy. Every pack of cigarettes is worth about 28 minutes of life. Even if they do stop smoking it will take about 15 years will their health return to normal. “This should not discourage smokers from trying to lead a healthier lifestyle,” says Watson.
Genesis Medical Scheme is a leading medical schemes in South Africa, supplying its members with a wide range of health care benefits at affordable rates. With its headquarters in Cape Town, Genesis Medical Scheme was founded in 1995 and currently has in excess of R256 million in reserve funds, which is more than 6 times the legal minimum required by the Medical Schemes Act.
As prescribed by the Act, the medical scheme is registered and fully member-owned with elected Trustees serving as part of its management committee to ensure the best interest of members at all times. Visit www.genesismedical.co.za for more information.