Here’s Why You Are Paying So Much for Medical Aid
Medical scheme price hikes are the reason why consumers are placing the blame at the door of the insurance industry. The majority of people regard insurers as profit-making machines. In fact, the cause of ever-increasing premiums is far more complex.
In many other countries, residents do not have to rely on the private medical profession for their health issues. Health care elsewhere is a basic human right, with citizens given free access to all sectors of the medical profession.
That is unlike in South Africa where you must pay for private health care in the form of medical aid insurance.
Some Reasons Why Medical scheme Price hikes Happen
Joining a medical scheme comes with a hefty monthly price tag, leading many people to believe that the South African insurance industry is nothing more than a money-making machine.
While the gaps between “the haves and the have nots” in the provision of health care services has grown, it has created many opportunities for entrepreneurs, including the medical profession.
However, the high cost of private health care begins to downgrade the medical industry. An increasing number of members are opting for more cheaper cover or even seeking help for their health issues from the government health system.
The South African health care System has been in a State of crisis for a Decade
The contributing factors for this are:
- A severe shortage of nurses
- A shortage of midwives
- Doctors looking abroad
- Fewer Specialists
The nursing sector Has been hardest Hit
South Africa has a shortage of 55,000 nurses. The country has 130,000 registered nurses, but 43% of those are due for retirement within the next ten years. According to stats released by the South African Nurses Council, the nursing shortfall will reach an alarming 111,000 by 2026.
This alone has had an enormous impact on the cost of health care. Salaries earned by nurses have increased by more than 500% over the last ten years and is now the largest cost facing hospitals. In fact, nurses salaries account for nearly three-quarters of hospital expenditure.
Stats also show that there are 37,000 registered and trained doctors in South Africa. Of those, 23,000 are working overseas.
More statistics to Make you feel Ill
The following figures once again underline the fact that South Africa’s health care industry is in crisis. There are about 260 nurses per 100,000 patients. Figures in other middle-income countries reveal that they have almost double that number.
There are about 28 doctors per 100,000 patients. Figures in other middle-income countries reveal that they have almost 10 times more doctors to care for patient needs.
Medical scheme Price hikes – what South Africa needs
Adding to the gloom is the fact that South Africa needs to produce 2,400 new doctors every year, but its eight medical universities can only produce 50% of current requirements. The country also needs to introduce 5,500 new nurses annually into its health care system, but it only manages to produce 3,500 new intakes every year.
Taking all these facts into consideration is it any wonder that South Africa’s health care industry is in crisis?
Add to this the increasing costs of providing medical health care and it is understandable why consumers have to help face the financial burden of increases in annual premiums to help keep the industry afloat.