Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings, Publilius Syrus said. Syrus, a Syrian, was brought as a slave to Italy, but his wit and talent won the favour of his master, who freed and educated him. It is worth keeping his wisdom in mind as we strive to use good sense to ensure the good health of South Africans. Key to this is creating the kind of environment that ensures a healthy partnership between private patients and medical schemes. Whenever medical schemes announce their fee structures at this time of the year — with increases in some instances at rates higher than inflation — there are often complaints that members are getting less for their money than before. With increasing costs, caused by inflation and the rising costs of doctors, hospitals and medicines, medical scheme contributions have become more and more expensive and schemes have to work hard to demonstrate that they really do add value.

Contribution increases differ from one medical scheme...

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