Gauteng patients face increased hospital tariffs

Hospital visitation guidelines relaxed in Western cape

Patients seeking medical care at Gauteng hospitals will pay more for services at health care facilities in the province. 

The 4.9% increase has come into effect on July 1, following an approval from the Gauteng provincial legislature committee on scrutiny of subordinate legislation (CSSL). Health-e News has spoken to a few Gauteng residents to hear their views on the increase.  

Word on the ground  

“It is bad since a lot of people are losing jobs due to Covid-19. However, I feel like the increase is caused by the increase in demand for medical attention,” says Nomsa Buthelezi. 

She believes that the increase will result in quality health care services. “If they weren’t increasing, maybe the quality wasn’t going to be the same anymore. So it’s basically the survival of the fittest because the poor suffer more,” she adds. 

Matimu Mahundla is one of the millions of South Africans who have suffered financially because of the coronavirus. “I am one of many people who are currently experiencing the negative implications of Covid-19, especially from a financial stand point[But] the cost of everything, including health services, have increased drastically. 

Exceptions made, with valid reason  

According to chairperson of the Gauteng provincial legislature CSSL, Dulton Adams, patients who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 will need to produce proof. The Department of Health have their own system to verify the status of patients with the assistance of the SAPS affidavits that patients must produce as confirmation of unemployment. 

According to him, the revenue collected from the payments isn’t expected to have a huge impact. The revenue collected will indeed boost the much needed resources in the health system, however we can’t say the revenue will be enough, as there are [a] number of challenges facing most hospitals in the province, which includes amongst others, overcrowding and lack of adequate resources/medications at provincial hospitals and this will also be aggravated by the Covid-19 epidemic. 

The new tariffs will apply to the following services: 

  • Hospital fees payable is now R25 
  • Mortuary services fees payable is now R215 
  • Ambulance services fees payable is now R65  

The following patients will not pay for services at hospitals in the province: 

  • Children under 6years-old 
  • Pregnant women 
  • Pensioners 
  • Any persons receiving social grants 
  • Formally unemployed people  

All foreign nationals are classified as fully paying patients, except for refugees with valid
documents. – Health-e News 

For more information on Covid-19 in South Africa, you can call the toll-free line on 0800 029 999, or you can send a message that says “Hi” on WhatsApp to the number 060 012 3456. You can also visit the  SA Coronavirus website.    

 

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