Balancing the books of a medical aid scheme must be an extremely difficult job at the best of times, but can you imagine the pressure private healthcare schemes, in South Africa, are under at the moment?
Not only are the COVID claims rolling in thick and fast, but the zeros behind some of the hospital accounts being submitted to medical aids (especially the ICU bills) must be staggering. Get seriously ill with COVID, and you could easily spend 3-weeks in an intensive care bed, needing 24/7 one-on-one nursing care, and that does not come cheap these days.
So, what is the solution?
Banning booze and beach visits might have slowed the spread over the festive season, but until every South African has been vaccinated, aren’t we going to continue to go around in circles with each wave that hits?
That’s the answer and it doesn’t take a world-renowned immunologist like Anthony Fauci to spell it out to us any longer. The vaccines are available, and the quicker we can build up an immunity to COVID, the quicker it will fizzle out like the last glowing embers left in your Weber after a Saturday afternoon braai.
But we all know how this is likely to play out, don’t we?
We can barely keep the lights on and the pavements free of weeds in our neighbourhoods, so what confidence do we have in a massive rollout of COVID vaccines in South Africa this year? How confident are you really in our Government’s ability to roll out an effective vaccine programme this year? You know who may be able to get it right?
Private healthcare (big business). Why? Because they are used to running efficient companies and can’t ask for a billion Rand bailout. And it would serve their best interests. Imagine you ran the biggest medical aid scheme in South Africa. Right on top of your list of priorities this year would be coming up with a strategy to keep people out of hospital beds, so they didn’t wrack up millions of Rands in COVID claims every day.
Why haven’t medical aid companies in South Africa been able to move quickly on this matter? It’s not like they couldn’t reach out directly to Pfizer or any of the other Pharmaceutical companies and cut a deal for a few million vaccines. There can only be one answer. Government is blocking their path.
It can’t be anything else and it makes no sense at all.
First off, if medical aid companies want to foot the bill for millions of their members, that’s millions of vaccines our Govt doesn’t have to pay for, right? It also means that those millions of people can get straight back to work knowing very well they have the all-clear.
The reason why your medical aid scheme (who you pay thousands of Rands over to every month) hasn’t informed you that you can sign up for a roll-out of COVID vaccine procured directly by them is only because they simply can’t get a deal done themselves at this point.
It leaves you scratching your head and asking this question.
What’s the agenda?
The InsuranceFundi Team