Sophie's* three-year-old daughter fell into their glass coffee table, cutting her head. Sophie rushed her to casualty at Mediclinic's Constantiaberg hospital. Even though they are members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme, and all schemes are by law obliged to cover in full the cost of medical emergencies, Sophie was asked to pay upfront for the treatment or take the child to a state hospital. Joan Green took her 73-year-old husband, Ian, to the emergency room at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital when he couldn't walk because his knees and ankles were inflamed. He had X-rays, scans and blood tests before he was given a script, referred to a specialist and sent home. The Greens then got a R9,200 bill that their scheme, Discovery Health, rejected for payment. They pondered the merits of paying R3,200 a month in contributions only to find such a large bill for their account. Fortunately for the Greens, though Ian's condition turned out to be something less than an emergency, healthcare cons...

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