After months of negotiations with unions, in July the University of Cape Town (UCT) began to provide private health-care benefits to its lowest-paid workers, with a product from insurer Kaelo Health that cost a fraction of the premiums charged by medical schemes.

For the first time, a UCT employee earning as little as R10,000 a month had access to private sector primary health-care providers such as general practitioners, dentists and optometrists without paying out of pocket...

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