Special deal for some Discovery members

05 April 2004

UCT Private Academic Hospital has come to the assistance of certain UCT staff on Discovery Medical Aid who have to make co-payments on in-hospital procedures, or have to use their medical savings account to pay for certain procedures.

CEO Riel du Toit said that qualifying UCT staff members would not have to make co-payments on their hospital accounts for any of Discovery's specified co-payment procedures if they were performed at UCT Hospital.

The hospital is also offering preferential hospital rates to UCT staff and their dependents on Discovery's other plans for endoscopic investigations, which include gastroscopy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and proctoscopy.

The preferential rates for UCT Staff on all plans entails giving discounts of as much as 25% on all hospital-related costs for endoscopic investigations.

Both benefits offered by UCT Hospital come into effect immediately and will be valid for all UCT staff on Discovery, as well as for their dependents listed on their membership, provided they are on plans that do not restrict them to using a specific hospital.

Du Toit said UCT Hospital had an important responsibility to the university as the biggest single shareholder in its facility. He described the move as part of the hospital's ongoing efforts to provide affordable quality healthcare and to live up to its slogan: The Hospital with Heart.

This follows several requests from UCT staff members who have been affected by recent changes to their medical aid benefits.

These changes include:

  • Coastal Core members now have to use money from the medical savings account (MSA) portion of their benefit to pay for endoscopic investigations, whether these are done in or out of hospital.
  • Discovery members on certain plans who undergo specified procedures have to pay upfront co-payments, which range between R1 000 for a tonsillectomy and R5 000 for back surgery.

HR executive director Dave van Eeden said he was especially happy about the preferential rates for Coastal Core members, as 75% of UCT staff members were on this plan.

"The no co-payment benefit will give staff easier access to UCT Hospital's medical expertise, services and facilities without having to fork out extra money if they need to undergo a procedure requiring a co-payment," he remarked.

Van Eeden added that HR would be contacting all members who qualified for the co-payment benefit. He stressed, however, that members on the Keycare and Medi-Clinic Priority Plans would not qualify for this benefit because they were restricted to the use of particular hospitals.

UCT Hospital will waiver hospital co-payments on the following procedures performed at the facility either by its own doctors or outside private doctors:

  • Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, proctoscopy, conservative back treatment gastroscopy, grommets (myringotomy), tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy (normal co-payment is R1 000).
  • Arthroscopy, functional nasal surgery, hysterectomy (excluding pre-operatively diagnosed cancer), laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation (normal co-payment R2 500).
  • Back surgery, joint replacements and reflux surgery (Nissen fundoplication) (normal co-payment is R5 000).

UCT members of Discovery who need to be referred to a specialist at UCT hospital for one of the above-mentioned procedures may obtain a list of doctors by visiting the website at www.ucthospital.co.za. For bookings or consultations contact Janet Purchase at 021 442-1966 or call 442-1800/10/14 for more information.

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