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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Just wondering if one does not have a medical plan - roughly what the cost is to consult with a GP or a specialist say in Gastroenterology?

I have a few health issues that need managing and so far trying to get help on the NHS here is a huge exercise in increased stress levels with generally very little real help. :(

How are other expats finding it - better or worse than the NHS?

Is medical care in SA still of a high standard?
 

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Hi,

Just wondering if one does not have a medical plan - roughly what the cost is to consult with a GP or a specialist say in Gastroenterology?

I have a few health issues that need managing and so far trying to get help on the NHS here is a huge exercise in increased stress levels with generally very little real help. :(

How are other expats finding it - better or worse than the NHS?

Is medical care in SA still of a high standard?
Medical care in SA is of high standard, if you can afford it that is. State medical is mostly very very bad and should be avoided if possible. Took my 1 year old daughter to see a doctor about her constipation issues and had to pay upfront and then claim it back through my medical aid. It was a 10 minute consultation and cost about R450, not sure if that was expensive or not compared to the UK. I do miss the NHS a lot. One tends to take it for granted when it's there but realising its super benefits when you don't have it.
 

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I visited a doctor in Cape Town and paid R300. But it might be cheap because I only went there to get a paper for Home Affairs so I didnt have any health issues like you say.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks this is useful info to know. :)

Saartjie when we first got here many years ago the NHS was a good system.

For the last few years it has steadily gone downhill imo. Might just be my area - it's a postcode lottery. Just trying to get to see my GP is a mission - at least 20mins on the phone to get hold of a receptionist. Another half hour and the GP rings us back to determine if we actually do need an appointment on the day. It's like an interrogation. Try to book in advance and this presents all sorts of problems like they will only take bookings for a certain doctor in two weeks time - well thank you!:mad:

Once one is through this hoop it is a long wait in the waiting room while a screen flashes how many missed appointments they had that week and how inconvieninced they are.:rolleyes:

I have a surgery that I live with - not one of the GP's knows zip about it & they have little interest. A physical check up - I can't remember when they last listened to my pulse or heart. My GP is a nice person - I like him (when I get to see him and not a stand in) but I go in - tell them what is wrong - argue my case while asking for meds I know will help me(so draining!) ...

After much thought we now have private health here. It costs the earth but it is chalk and cheese compared to the NHS. I am seen the next day by a specialist.(Instead of a 6 week week wait). I go for a diagnostic and it is so thorough (30-40mins of proper investigation) I was shocked as a year previous I had the same one on the NHS - it was all of 5 mins max.

Focus of late is on emergencies only. Chronic conditions - well, it can take an age to get treated. Even for cancer .
Eeeeish now I have gone on & on!:rolleyes:

The only good thing about it is the price of meds. I think I'll miss that.
 

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Thanks this is useful info to know. :)

Saartjie when we first got here many years ago the NHS was a good system.

For the last few years it has steadily gone downhill imo. Might just be my area - it's a postcode lottery. Just trying to get to see my GP is a mission - at least 20mins on the phone to get hold of a receptionist. Another half hour and the GP rings us back to determine if we actually do need an appointment on the day. It's like an interrogation. Try to book in advance and this presents all sorts of problems like they will only take bookings for a certain doctor in two weeks time - well thank you!:mad:

Once one is through this hoop it is a long wait in the waiting room while a screen flashes how many missed appointments they had that week and how inconvieninced they are.:rolleyes:

I have a surgery that I live with - not one of the GP's knows zip about it & they have little interest. A physical check up - I can't remember when they last listened to my pulse or heart. My GP is a nice person - I like him (when I get to see him and not a stand in) but I go in - tell them what is wrong - argue my case while asking for meds I know will help me(so draining!) ...

After much thought we now have private health here. It costs the earth but it is chalk and cheese compared to the NHS. I am seen the next day by a specialist.(Instead of a 6 week week wait). I go for a diagnostic and it is so thorough (30-40mins of proper investigation) I was shocked as a year previous I had the same one on the NHS - it was all of 5 mins max.

Focus of late is on emergencies only. Chronic conditions - well, it can take an age to get treated. Even for cancer .
Eeeeish now I have gone on & on!:rolleyes:

The only good thing about it is the price of meds. I think I'll miss that.
You are absolutely right. When we lived in east London it was a mission to get an appointment with the GP and calling them was nearly impossible. Our last three years in the UK we moved out of London to a small 'village' and had the most wonderful GP there. I could always get an appointment and you could call them at any time without any problems at all. So I totally understand if you've had a bad experience. Still, the 'for free' bonus is great and I really do miss that.
 

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Its always interesting to hear how the other half live ;-)

In SA I had a very good GP, Specialist and Pharmacist as well as a pretty reasonable medical aid.
Medical aid was usually finished by June July and my Chronic meds that I live on would then (2004) cost me about R1200/month.
I had 3 two week hospital stays in 6 years at the Carstenhof to alleviate a life threatening scenario and was always very happy with the care, and service.

I had heard all about the horrors of the Irish NHS (and the Brit one) when I arrived and found that I would be on a waiting period in Ireland plus my and wifes pre-existing conditions were excluded fro Private Health Insurance
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In Country a month and 5 year old spikes to 39D C, so I phone the local emergency number at midnight, a local GP phones me back and offers to drive an hour to me, I suggest the A&E instead which is 30 minutes from me, and a Paed gets out of bed at 2 am and drives into the Hospital.

I happen to be on a Business development grant which automatically entitles us to free medical cards, have been at all three the local "Govt" Hospitals for various reasons with wife, child, mother in law and self over the past 7 years, excellent service, lots of Afrikaans spoken in the Corridors,

my and wifes Chronic meds cost the sum total of €10 a month, we have excellent Gp's and the longest I have had to wait for the phone to be answered is about 3 minutes when I hang up and phone back as there is obviously some sort of emergency going on.

I have had to call an ambulance twice in the past 6 years,both times they got here in under 20 minutes.
There are defibrillators at most pubs,post offices and halls with a number or three of who is local and able to operate.

and its headline news because when the Hospitals get busy, A&E lower traiged cases have to sleep on the bed they use to transport you rather than the wide comfy one in the Wards...

I've been to a number of Govt Hospitals in Sa during the past few years when back, the Chris Hani Teaching Hospital in Pretoria is excellent, Bara's Obstetrics, Paed and Oncology is also excellent but the wards and staff will kill you.
The Helen Joseph and Thembisa Hospitals must rank as the worst I have ever seen other than Nairobi General.
 
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