Many medical scheme members with mental illness are being forced to dig deep into their own pockets to foot their bills and are delaying or stopping treatment when the money runs out, according to a survey conducted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) advocacy group. Sadag’s survey is not nationally representative but does nevertheless highlight significant inadequacies in medical scheme cover for even the relatively well-resourced middle-class families that responded to its questionnaire. The survey included 604 respondents, 78% of whom were white women, and the majority of whom lived in Gauteng. More than half (59%) belonged to Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS). "Mental health is not in a good situation in South Africa," said Sadag founder Zane Wilson. "Almost 25% of respondents said their condition had worsened due to stress and anxiety." More than half (55%) of the respondents said they were using their own money to fund the gaps in their medical schem...

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